PEOPLE are being urged to don something sparkly and donate money to help fund toys and play equipment for young hospital patients.

The Sparkle for Axl day will be held on Friday, December 13, in memory of Axl Walker, who was a much-loved patient at Bradford Royal Infirmary and who died last year - three days before his third birthday.

Staff at the hospital trust will be getting involved, and, this year, Bradford City Football Club has also thrown its support behind the campaign.

Valley Parade will sparkle at the match against Salford City on December 21 and Axl’s older brother, Lucas, will walk out with the team as the crowd create a light sensation with their phone torches.

Lucas, who is a big City fan, met with goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell to launch the appeal.

Hayley Collis, head of fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “This is a fun Christmas fundraising appeal in memory of a very special little boy.

“Axl melted the hearts of all our staff who cared for him and it means a lot to us that we can provide toys to future patients in his memory.

"We are really excited to see everyone sparkle on Friday 13 December, but it will also be very poignant for us, as we remember Axl.

“Please do what you can to sparkle – whether it’s wearing a sparkly top, socks or even sparkly earrings – we can’t wait to see Bradford sparkle.”

Claire Walker, Axl’s mum, said: “This means a lot to our family to keep Axl’s memory alive and to raise money to help other children in hospital.

“Toys make such a big difference when a child is being treated. I saw this with both Axl and his brother, Lucas, when they were in hospital. If you can calm them down, the doctors and nurses can treat them easier and quicker.”

Axl suffered from a rare blood disorder which meant he needed monthly blood transfusions and two bone marrow transplants. He spent a great deal of time at Bradford Royal Infirmary, in the Children and Young People’s Unit and Day Case Unit on Ward 2.

Claire added: “We would love to see the Sparkle for Axl charity day become an annual Christmas fundraising event in Bradford, with everyone supporting their local NHS charity and children in their home city.”

For more information about the Sparkle for Axl campaign, please, visit

To make a donation to the appeal, visit