A STOURBRIDGE boy who inspired the creation of a charity helping disabled children has died at the age of 16 following a brief illness, it has been announced.

The Friends of Alfie Johnson broke the sad news on Facebook earlier today that Alfie passed away surrounded by family at Acorns Children’s Hospice last night (Sunday November 26).

A statement posted on the official Friends of Alfie Johnson page said: “Today we have to share the devastating news that our beautiful boy, Alfie, has sadly passed away following a very brief respiratory illness.

“Despite the amazing efforts of everyone at Birmingham Children's Hospital, Alfie's condition did not improve. He passed away peacefully at 22:46 last night at Acorns Children’s Hospice, surrounded by loving family.”

The Friends thanked medics and staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Acorns Children’s Hospice for their “amazing care” and urged supporters to bear with them while they grieve for Alfie.

The post added: “Fly high gorgeous boy and thank you for the amazing 16 years you blessed us with.”

The Friends group was set up initially to help Alfie, who was starved of oxygen at birth in a hospital blunder which left him permanently disabled with severe brain damage and in need of round-the-clock care.

The group, comprising Alfie’s devoted parents Paul and Vickie Johnson along with relatives and friends, started out raising money to help Alfie with his disabilities.

But after Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability for the youngster's condition after a legal battle, which saw a seven-figure payout awarded to fund Alfie’s care, the charity began helping other needy children with disabilities, awarding grants to help families buy equipment to help make their lives easier.

Over the years the Friends group has amassed thousands of supporters thanks to a series of high-profile fundraisers including a long run of charity balls held at The Copthorne Hotel in Brierley Hill.