Youngster's brave story inspired superstar Bolt
A YOUNGSTER whose battle with cancer struck a chord with one of the world's biggest sports stars is the latest winner of a Post/First Gold Star.
Matthew Smith, nine, of Brislington, was complaining of pain in his right leg just before Christmas and a series of scans and tests revealed he had bone cancer.
Initially there was hope his leg could be saved but despite months of intensive chemotherapy the tumour spread from Matthew's knee and up his thigh leaving medics no option.
The above-knee amputation in April was a huge blow for Matthew who loves sports including football and golf.
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Since the operation Matthew has been having regular physiotherapy sessions to help him learn to walk using a prosthetic leg and has ongoing medical treatment.
Matthew is supported in his recovery by his parents Colin and Liz and older sister Lucy, 12.
His story was relayed back to Olympic sprint superstar Usain Bolt via his mother's cousin Vinette Jones who is from Filton.
Bolt, the quickest man in history and winner of the 100m and 200m at the Olympics, signed a pair of his running spikes for Matthew's family to auction to raise money for his care.
The superstar's mother, Jennifer Bolt, even made the effort to come to Bristol to present them to Matthew in person in front of his envious Brislington Juniors FC teammates.
Bolt's relative Mrs Jones had said: "I think the story really struck a chord with him.
"Usain is a very quick runner so he thought about what it would be like for him to lose a leg.
"I had asked if he would mind sending a T-shirt but he said he would send some signed running spikes because he thought they would raise more money for Matthew."
The spikes eventually fetched more than £1,200 which will be put towards money already raised by his club Brislington Juniors FC and Knowle golf club where he is a member.
Matthew's father Colin previously told The Post: "To be honest we went for X-rays just to establish that he had some sort of knee injury. When doctors explained exactly what they had found it was a big shock. Since then it has been a roller coaster."
When told he was our latest The Post/First Gold Star winner of 2012 Matthew said: "I don't feel brave as it is something that has happened and I have to deal with but I am very honoured to have been chosen and am very much looking forward to the event in December."
All our Gold Star winners will be invited to a special celebration lunch in December, when their awards will be presented.