CROWDS of people gathered to show their support for a brave toddler who is battling cancer.

People cheered and clapped as little Charlie Harris-Beard arrived at Cathedral Plaza shopping centre, Worcester, yesterday.

The brave two-year-old was in the city with his father Joe Beard, who was visiting the Gods of Ink II tattoo studio to have a portrait of his son etched over his heart.

Charlie was given a warm welcome by friends, studio staff, members of the public, the Worcester Mayor Roger Berry, Peppa Pig and Father Christmas.

Players from the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club were also there to offer their support.

Mr Beard said: “It’s all a bit overwhelming, it’s amazing. When I walked around the corner, I was shocked by what I saw.

“I’m having the tattoo of Charlie on my heart. It’s very personal. It’s something we planned last year.

“The support we have had all along has been great and I’d like to thank the guys at Gods of Ink II and everyone who has supported us.”

Charlie, who has a rare type of leukaemia, has been given weeks to live after test results confirmed that the disease had come back.

He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at 10-months-old and received treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

His mother Fiona Harris, who is originally from Droitwich, and Mr Beard say they have not given up hope of finding a cure for Charlie and are looking for possible treatments in America.

Meanwhile, they will focus on their charity work having set up the charity Cords4Life to raise awareness of umbilical cord donations in the UK, as well has giving Charlie happy family moments.

The couple, who live in Kidderminster, have also set up a Facebook page – Help save baby Charlie Harris-Beard – to chart their experiences.

Mark Richmond, who owns Gods of Ink II, performed the tattoo.

He said: “My wife Lisa and I lost our son Ayden at the same age as Charlie. We really want to do some more fund-raising for his condition – we want to raise as much money as possible.

“Charlie’s going to get to see the tattoo as well. He’s a brave little boy. When you see all these people taking a bit of time with their families to support him, it restores your faith in human nature. It just shows you what a special boy he is.”