‘I just want to say thanks to Olly for being there’

Olly Murs meeting eight-year-old Harry Holden at the Royal Albert Hall. Harry has complex illnesses. ENGPPP00120140702110517
Olly Murs meeting eight-year-old Harry Holden at the Royal Albert Hall. Harry has complex illnesses. ENGPPP00120140702110517
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THE death of a parent is a trauma no young child should ever have to face.

But that is exactly what happened to Harry Holden nine days after his beloved mum Sara was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

But for the Widley youngster an unexpected message of condolence and support from his favourite musician meant the world.

Olly Murs, who had met Harry and his mum in 2014 at a special do in London, sent a text to the little lad’s family telling him to be strong.

Now, almost two years after the shock death of the 10-year-old’s mum, Harry’s grandmother, Audrey Gover, is appealing to meet up with the singer again to thank him for his kind words.

The plea comes just months before the superstar is set to perform at Southsea’s Victorious Festival in August.

Audrey, 77, of West Street, Havant, said: ‘For Olly to send that text to us when Harry’s mummy died was so lovely.

‘It was incredibly kind. We just want to repay his kindness and say “thank you” to him.’

Harry – a pupil at Glenwood School in Emsworth – 
has already had a tough childhood.

He is autistic and has complex health issues meaning he has been in and out of hospital most of his life.

But in 2014 he was one of a selected few youngsters to be invited to a question and answer session with the Heart Skips a Beat singer at London’s Albert Hall.

It was organised by Rays of Sunshine, a charity which puts together memorable events for children with serious illness, with Harry’s mum helping with the special surprise.

Tragically, little more than a year later Harry and his family was hit with the shock that 46-year-old Sara had cancer – and just days to live.

Speaking of her daughter’s death, Audrey said: ‘We just couldn’t believe it. It all came on so quickly.

‘She didn’t feel too well and we thought she had gallstones.

‘She went to hospital and they did some tests on her.

‘The doctors then told my husband she has got about nine days to live – she was smothered in cancer.

‘It was just horrendous. But Harry, because of his condition, handled it incredibly well.’

It was then that Olly sent through the text, which was seen by Harry’s older sister, Emily.

‘It’s a message that we will never, ever forget.’

Harry already has tickets to see Olly during his performance at Victorious this year.

Audrey now hopes that the X-Factor runner-up will be able to meet with the young lad once more to have a chat.

Audrey added that Harry has been a huge fan of Olly’s for years.

‘He knows all the songs and dances to them,’ she said.

‘We know Olly is busy and we that he might have loads of people asking to meet up with him.

‘But we would love the chance to thank him for all he did.’

Olly will be performing on Castle Field on Sunday night of the festival.