A BRAVE Gourock schoolboy has lost his battle with cancer at the age of only 12.

Much-loved Callum Tosh passed away peacefully with his heartbroken parents at his bedside.

His funeral was held yesterday and the loss of such a special youngster has left his loved ones and many friends devastated.

His dad Graeme, 44, today paid tribute to his adored son.

Graeme said: "He was just a joy.

"Callum was such a smiley wee guy, he was sporty and loved his football.

"He was an active wee guy who liked going for walks with his dog Toby and climbing trees."

Graeme and Callum's mum Ruth, 41, big sister Abbie, 15, who live in Kirn Drive, are still trying to make sense of their terrible loss.

Graeme, an electrician, said: "We have a large close family and everyone is totally gutted.

"It's horrendous.

"We are trying to get by with the support of our family and friends."

Callum was a football fanatic who had played with St Andrew's Boys' Club since he was five.

His dad got involved with the club and ended up being his coach.

Callum was also very close to his grandparents Jim and Margaret Tosh.

Graeme said: "Football was his passion.

"He was a big Morton fan and went to the games with his granda.

"His gran and granda were a big part of his life and he enjoyed Sunday dinner with the family at his gran's house."

It was three years ago when the family was hit with the bombshell that Callum had cancer.

Graeme said: "He had a swelling on his neck and we thought it might have been an infection as he had been to the dentist, so he was given antibiotics.

"But we were told to take him to the RAH in Paisley the following week and they broke it to us that it was cancer."

Several tests were taken at the Schiehallion Ward at the Royal Children's Hospital in Glasgow before it was confirmed Callum had Renal Cell Carcinoma, which is extremely rare in children.

Graeme said: "There are only two children in the UK with this form of cancer and Callum was one of them."

His parents were told that because of new therapies available Callum had a better choice of treatment.

Graeme said: "The cutting-edge therapies gave us hope, but we were told it was going to be challenging."

Callum continued to live life to the full as much as he could and he managed to attend Moorfoot Primary in P6 and P7 before starting at Clydeview Academy.

By 2019 the cancer had spread and Callum needed more procedures and treatment.

Graeme said: "He had to go through a lot and he was very brave and never complained.

"Me and him played a lot of football, he enjoyed playing with St Andrew's and going out walks with Toby.

"He said that was the best thing we had ever done, getting Toby.

"We loved going on long walks down to Lunderston Bay together."

Callum was a member of the 2nd Gourock Boys' Brigade from the age of five.

Graeme said: "He loved the BB and was always busy and out and about.

"He loved going to Scotland games and activities weeks with the BB and school during his treatment."

Sadly Callum's condition began to worsen recently and he took unwell on June 22.

He was admitted to hospital and passed away two days later.

Graeme said Callum's consultant told him it was it was 'remarkable' the way his son had coped with the illness so well for so long.

The family would like to thank his consultant, Dr Dermot Murphy, and all nursing staff at the Schiehallion Ward.

Graeme said: "They did everything they possibly could for Callum."

He also praised his employer Burgoyne Electrical for their understanding over the last three years.

The family would like to thank St Andrew's BC, Morton FC, Callum's teachers and the Boys' Brigade for their support too.

Calum's team-mates from St Andrew's turned out at the cemetery gates to say a final farewell to their friend ahead of yesterday's private service.

The club said they were 'heartbroken' to have lost one of their boys, adding: "Throughout his time at the club Callum showed natural leadership, he was a feisty, hard-working, determined young player with great ability.

"After Callum was diagnosed he continued to play in the team, doing what he loved best.

"He is one of the bravest and most courageous boys we know.

"Even when he didn't have the energy to play Callum turned up to support the boys and his dad, who continued to coach the team.

"Callum you are forever in our hearts."

Morton chairman Crawford Rae, a friend of the Tosh family, paid tribute.

He said: "I have known Callum's grandfather Jim for many years and they are a fantastic family.

"Jim, Graeme and Callum have had season tickets at Cappielow for many years and young Callum loved coming into the club and seeing the players.

"He was a very quiet, incredibly well-mannered wee boy but his eyes would light up when he saw inside the dressing room, especially on a matchday.

"When he was mascot last year his classmates from school clapped him off the pitch, it was very moving and you could see that they all loved Callum so much.

"Our hearts go out to the family at this incredibly sad time.

"Unfortunately Callum could not get the send off that he deserves due to restrictions in place, but I was on their route to pay my respects to a wonderful wee boy and a fantastic family."

Craig Gibson, head teacher at Clydeview Academy, said Callum had an 'inspiring determination and beautiful personality' and would never be forgotten.

He said: "Our staff and pupils have such fond memories of the time we spent with Callum and remember his kindness and incredible spirit.

“Callum bravely fought a long and tireless battle against cancer and tried to make his life all that it could be.

"It is a tragedy to lose such a strong spirit so early in his life.

"We join with our colleagues at Moorfoot Primary and all the pupils who knew Callum in sending our thoughts, prayers and best wishes to his family.”