Cathedral date a dream for boy, 12

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IT may seem an unusual wish for a 12-year-old boy – but Harvey Stansfield’s trip to play the organ at Liverpool Cathedral was a dream come true.

The Rossall School pupil, who plays the organ at St Chad’s Church in Poulton, was granted the wish by charity Miles of Smiles following the tragic death of his brother Charlie, who lost his battle with cancer last year.

Harvey, from Poulton, played for half an hour in the country’s largest cathedral, in front of a crowd of family and friends – and even international tourists who sat in the pews to listen.

His parents, Julie and Andrew, said the experience lifted Harvey’s spirits during a difficult time following the loss of six-year-old Charlie, who died from a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma.

Mr Stansfield, 51, of Blackpool Old Road, said: “He’s played the piano since he was six and has been playing the organ for two years. He loves it. He lives and breathes music. As soon as he gets home he sits at the piano.

“It was a wonderful experience for him. I think the charity were quite taken aback when he told them his wish. A lot of children they help want a laptop or a trip to the Trafford Centre.

“People were quite amazed to see a little boy playing the organ.

“It’s been a difficult time for all of us, Charlie’s death is still very raw. This experience gave Harvey something to look forward to and something to be proud of.”

Harvey said: “It was a great experience to be able to play the organ at Liverpool Cathedral.

“It was a little bigger than the organ I usually play but I got used to it. I am really thankful to the charity for giving me this opportunity.”

Harvey and his nine-year-old brother Hugo helped to support their younger brother Charlie during his illness.

When the charity heard about the family’s tragic situation, they decided to give the two brothers a treat.

Miles of Smiles founder Karen Rainford told The Gazette: “It really was a pleasure to give Harvey a ‘smile’.

“He and his family have had such a sad and traumatic time and he deserved something that would put a little magic in his day.

“We all enjoyed the day. Harvey was an absolute star. He is a talented young man. It was a day we will never forget.”

The charity previously granted his brother Hugo a day as a mascot at Man United.

Harvey, who gained a music scholarship at Rossall and is due to sing with the school choir at Westminster Abbey this year, has an ambition to become a cathedral organist and choir master.

Mr Stansfield added: “It’s all he wanted to do. It was a magical experience. The charity are great. They are local charity with a few volunteers who work from home. To offer a special wish to the brothers and sisters who are left behind is wonderful.”