Messages of support sent to Zac Forskitt from friends, family and Northampton Saints’ stars during his final hours showed the “best of humanity”, a member of the #BacZac committee said.
The 20-year-old, of Abington Vale, Northampton, died on Sunday after he had battled two forms of cancer, a cancerous tumour on his chest and a rare form of leukaemia.
He inspired the #BacZac campaign (www.baczac.com) which raised thousands of pounds and awareness of his condition.
When Zac’s condition took a turn for the worse on Sunday, dozens of tweets and Facebook messages were sent by friends, family and people inspired by the#BacZac campaign.
A member of the #BacZac committee, which includes Linda Dawson, Mark Russell and Warren Brew, said the messages were all read out to Zac throughout the day.
One of the last messages to be read to Zac before he died was from Saints and Wales star George North he tweeted “thinking of you buddy. Stay strong”.
The #BacZac committee member said the overwhelming public support was particularly welcome as it came a day after Zac’s family had been left reeling by the news their house had been burgled.
Zac’s father Jason had been forced to drive back to Northampton from the hospital in Nottingham on Saturday to find out what had been stolen but had to travel straight back after being told Zac’s condition had deteriorated.
A #BacZac committee member said: “One day they are burgled and see the worst of humanity. Twenty-four hours later they see a demonstration of community and humanity at its best and most perfect.
“They could have been in despair about the human race but the next day they see the whole community come together in an incredible way.”
The #BacZac community member said Zac’s family felt “overwhelmed” by the messages of support.
Headmaster of Northampton School for Boys Richard Bernard has also paid tribute to the former pupil, who played at Twickenham with the school rugby team in 2013.
The NSB rugby team are again in the Twickenham final on Wednesday and the players are planning on wearing Zac’s name on their socks.
Mr Bernard said: “Zac was an incredibly brave young man who faced his circumstances with great fortitude.
“He was an inspirational figure and the BacZac campaign was embraced by the students of NSB with over £6000 donated to the charity through fund-raising activities at the school during this academic year.
“Zac was NSB through and through, working hard in the classroom and excelling on the rugby field. He will be greatly missed and he leaves a legacy of great spirit, courage and resilience in the face of extreme adversity that all of our students should aspire to.”