A SERIOUSLY ill father-of-three said he and his family will "treasure the memories forever" after over 200 people gathered for a Christmas surprise.

Matthew Sandbrook said it was a total shock and surprise after people of all ages sang Christmas songs to the family on Wednesday evening.

The 36-year-old watched on with his girlfriend Rebecca Rushton and their three sons Connor, 15, Kyle, 13 and Tyler, nine.

Family, friends and strangers gathered outside the home after his cousin Nikki Lee asked for the community's help to make his early Christmas extra special.

The family had brought Christmas forward after the dad-of-three was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Mr Sandbrook, who was at a hospital in Coventry for treatment today, thanked everyone for making the day so special.

"I want to personally thank each and every one of you.

"It was such a special day yesterday. Absolutely incredible. 

"It was a total shock and surprise.

"My boys and Bec and all my family will treasure these memories for ever.

"My fight starts tomorrow. Let's hope miracles happen."

Worcester News:

Miss Lee organised the Christmas surprise in just four days after the family brought Christmas forward.

A crowd of over 200 people met on the green near Rodborough Close before moving to Matthew's home where the family were visibly moved to see so many people.

They sang Ben E King's Stand By Me as the family came out of the house before singing popular Christmas songs such as Shakin Stevens' Merry Christmas Everyone and The Pogues' Fairytale of New York.

Professional singer Mike Alistair led the songs and children enjoyed the snow machine provided by DJ Chris Lauriello.

Worcester News:

A really moving moment came as those gathered were asked to point their mobile phone lights to the sky and singalong to Snow Patrol's Run.

Miss Lee said the family were so grateful and overwhelmed with the support but added they needed to spend precious time with Matthew now.

"It's all been really overwhelming and so emotional and we are so incredibly grateful to everyone for their support.

Worcester News:

"We need some space now to be able to enjoy the precious time we have left with Matthew.

"We hope that people can understand that and allow us to have that space.

"I just want to say a massive thank you once again to everyone who has supported us and helped to make this happen."