An inspirational 11-year-old who has captured the hearts of people across South Yorkshire and beyond has reached the end of his latest fundraising mission, raising over £13,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Owls mad ‘Super Shay’ O’Grady completed his epic triathlon after Sheffield Wednesday faced Derby County for the nail-biting season finale.

While the result of the match itself left the youngster “in bits” – his support along the way, as well as a special congratulatory message from his hero Barry Bannan, soon put a smile back on his face.

The intrepid fundraiser completed his epic walk from Hillsborough to Derby’s Pride Park stadium despite  the torrential rain, and finished the cycling and swimming elements of his triathlon in the days that followed.

Now, in recognition of his efforts which have raised over £35K to date for Bluebell Wood, the charity have made him their first ever ‘Young Fundraising Charity Champion’.

Shay, whose incredible fundraising exploits are inspired by his cousin Evie-Mae who has a life-shortening condition and visits the hospice for respite care, took it all in his stride.

“I did feel really tired at times, but I didn’t want to give up and the people who were with me reminded me why I was doing it and said they were so proud of me,” said Shay.

“I just thought about Evie and all her friends at Bluebell Wood, and what the money will be going towards, and that kept me going.”

Shay’s beloved cousin, Evie-Mae O’Grady Askwith, 9, from Ecclesfield, has an extremely rare chromosome deletion disorder, which means she can’t walk or talk and needs round the clock care. Evie-Mae has been visiting Bluebell Wood for a number of years for respite care and other events and activities.

It’s not the first time Shay’s gone above and beyond for Bluebell Wood. Last year he raised £11,000 with in his first triathlon and the year before he raised almost £5,000 with a sponsored walk from the hospice to Hillsborough ahead of the Steel City derby. Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri was so impressed with his efforts that he matched the amount he’d raised, taking it to a grand total of £10,000.

Now the committed youngster’s got his sights firmly set on his next big challenge which he plans to do next year, with plans already underway to go even ‘bigger and better’.

Sally Baker, Regional Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’d like to say a huge well done to Shay, his friends Luke and Holly Wilks and everyone who’s supported him along the way.

“It really was an incredible effort in horrendous conditions so they should all be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved.

“So we’re absolutely delighted to award Shay our first ever ‘Young Charity Champion’ award in recognition of all he’s done to raise funds and awareness for Bluebell Wood.

“We have a feeling there will be many more plaudits for Shay in the years to come and we can’t wait to see what his next challenge will be.”