JUST three months after leukaemia claimed the life of a tragic 13-year-old boy a blood drive in his memory far surpassed its target.

James O’Mara was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukaemia, Acute Myeloid, at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on June 1, and died on June 8.

During his week in hospital the Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College student used 89 units of blood products.

And in his memory a blood drive was organised to try and replace the blood to help others, but not only did the event meet its target but smashed it, with 135 people signing up to donate.

The event on Sunday was organised by Droitwich Rugby Club at its base in Hanbury Road, where James, of Claines, was a much-loved member, they also held a minute's applause at their recent match.

Mark Dowell, chairman of the minis and juniors at Droitwich Rugby Club, said despite being told by NHS Blood and Transplant he would be unlikely to get 89 donors, he always knew they would at least match it.

He said: "I knew we would get at least 89. I was not surprised – It just goes to show James story touched a lot of people and we did have people from outside the club registering.

"It was a real successful day. It was just an overwhelming response."

His auntie Amanda Tanner, aged 41, of Battenhall, Worcester, said: "It’s been just over three months since James was taken from us so suddenly and there is not a day that goes by when I do not think of him.

"The sheer volume of people that attended Droitwich Rugby Club in response to the campaign has assured us that James is in the thoughts of others too.

"At the time James was receiving treatment I pledged to make everyone aware of just how important blood products are to anyone in need.

"Although James wasn’t able to win his fight, we are comforted by the knowledge that he had all the resources available to him including those that money can’t buy.

"Anyone going through treatment for leukaemia will need blood products of some sort and rely on the goodwill of those who donate blood and platelets hence the need for regular donors."

Bloodwise, one of the main leukaemia charities, and NHS Blood and Transport were in attendance at the event.

James’s mother, Rebecca O’Mara, known as Becci, of Claines, Worcester, added: "I would like to thank all those at Droitwich Rugby Club, NHS Blood and Transport and Bloodwise for organising the blood drive and also thank the amazing support we received from all those that attended and registered to give blood. It was fantastic to beat the target of 89 registrations by over 50 per cent. I am so proud that we can help others in need."

Shailesh Mistry, donor marketing operations manager for the West at NHS Blood and Transplant said: "The response we have had from Droitwich Rugby Club has been phenomenal.

"We would like to thank the family for their support, especially when they are going through such a difficult time.

"These 135 donors could potentially go on to save or improve over 400 lives as each blood donation can help three people.

"Thank you to James' family and Droitwich Rugby Club for their support."

No blood was taken on Sunday, but the event saw people registering their details and supporting the cause.

His family have also raised more than £4,000 for Birmingham Children's Hospital, Children's Liver Disease Charity (CLDF) and Bloodwise, a charity dedicated to funding research into all blood cancers including leukaemia.

Recently in July, a charity cricket match, organised by James' rugby coach Jon Grimshaw, was held at Ombersley Cricket Club, in Old Main Road, Ombersley, near Droitwich, raking in more than £4,000.

On Thursday, June 29, a service of remembrance for James saw more than 350 people fill Worcester Crematorium in Tintern Avenue.

For more information on James' story or to donate go to james.omara.muchloved.com.