A YOUNG football team who rallied around one of their teammates who has been diagnosed with cancer by shaving their heads in solidarity have been nominated for a Young Champions award.

Owen Jenkinson was just 13 when he was first diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma - a bone cancer which mainly affects younger people - just days after helping his AFC Pogmoor team secure promotion.

After months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Owen was able to return to the football club with the all-clear.

Devastatingly, he was told his cancer had returned earlier this year.

Owen’s mum, Andrea, told the Chronicle: “We were all devastated.

“Owen has four sisters and one brother - telling them was heartbreaking.

“He obviously was upset but Owen being the person he is said ‘we fight again mum’.

“We were told if we did not treat Owen he had a matter of weeks to live which is what we were told the first time, too.”

She added that the support Owen and the family have received from the club has been overwhelming.

“The head shaving was amazing to watch - the joy was on their faces knowing they were part of Team Jenko,” she said.

“A group of teenage lads shaving their hair to show their love and support to their team mate was just heartwarming.

“They didn't want Owen to be alone, I think this says a lot about the team.

“Owen was so touched by what they all did.

“He really loves the lads and they have found it really hard to come to terms with the fact Owen’s cancer has returned.

“They really are an exceptional group of boys.

“We are really proud of all the team and we are absolutely delighted that they have been nominated.”

The club’s manager, Phil McNulty, praised his side’s compassion for Owen - and they’ve got more fundraising exploits lined up.

“I think that it’s fantastic that our boys are being recognised for the support that they are showing to their teammate and friend,” he said.

“They are all genuinely lovely lads and it’s been so nice to see them come together as a team to help Owen.

“From the head shave, to them now planning to run the Leeds 10k together, they’ve been determined to show Owen how much they care about him and to raise funds for him to spend on things that he loves to do.

“The 10k run idea came from AFC Pogmoor player, Logan Yould and his cousin Tye who have also been affected by cancer in their family.

“A group of the lads went out running for the first time this week and were joined by mates from outside of the football team who have been inspired to join in too.

“It’s a brilliant example of solidarity and friendship and we’re very proud of them all.”