Stephen Sutton's mother tells tragic story behind 'thumbs up' photo

Teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton gave 'thumbs up' from his hospital bed. Credit: Stephen Sutton/ PA

Teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton "thought he was a goner" when he had his photograph taken with his thumbs up in his hospital bed, according to his mother.

The 19-year-old raised millions of pounds for the Teenage Cancer Trust before his death in May and he is to be honoured with a Pride of Britain award following a record number of public nominations.

Cancer victim Stephen Sutton has also been awarded a posthumous MBE. Credit: Stephen Sutton Facebook/ PA

Stephen, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer aged 15, became a household name as he approached his disease with good humour and stoicism.

Stephen's mother Jane told the Daily Mirror that the photo of her son, which regularly accompanies news reports about him, was taken at a time that he was so ill they said their "goodbyes".

Crowds attending Stephen Sutton's funeral gave the 'thumbs up' sign. Credit: ITV News Central

Stephen's award will be the first time an honour has been given posthumously since Pride of Britain began 16 years ago.

It will be presented to Ms Sutton by Teenage Cancer Trust supporters including Who frontman Roger Daltrey and comedian Jason Manford.