THE friends and family of an "inspirational" young man who lost his battle against cancer are ensuring his memory lives on.

Matthew Burton, who grew up in Worcester but moved to Droitwich last year, was five years old when he was first diagnosed with liver cancer.

Despite beating that, he was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma — a rare cancer — in 2012.

The Liverpool fan, who was 21 when he died in April, still went to work at McDonald's in Blackpole, and even got the chance to meet his sporting heroes, including England goalkeeper Joe Hart, former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and former England Captain Steven Gerrard.

His sister, Emily, said around £5,000 has already been raised by friends and family in support of Matthew's favourite charity, the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) and Cancer Research UK.

Emily, 17, said: "Matthew was a credit to all who knew him, particularly his family. He was a loving son to parents Joanne and Steve, and a loving brother to me and our sister Laura. Through such turmoil, Matthew remained an honest, genuine, hard-working young man who still attempted to attend work and put a smile on everyone’s face and was honestly loved by all that came into contact with him. We miss him every minute of every day.

"We have all drawn great strength and pride from fundraising in his name. Friends Jack Cummings, Joe Corbett and Chris Harris walked from London to Brighton, and £497 was raised at his funeral. The Bull Inn in Fernhill Heath and The Talbot on the Tything raised £600 and his friends Sian Pace, Sophie Ellis and Brogan Smith did the Race for Life in his memory. His half sister, Clare Hale, is running the Portsmouth Great South Run in October and another friend, Sam Fletcher, will be running the London Marathon next year."

Matthew's mother, Joanne, said although she has lost "the perfect son", Matthew's friends have been "amazing and a comfort" to the family.

When Matthew met Joe Hart he was challenged to face the goalkeeper in a penalty-shoot-out when he was well enough, but he never got the chance to.

Mr Hart arranged for a shirt signed by the Manchester City Football Team to be sent to Matthew's friends, which will be auctioned later this year to raise money for TCT.