Kirsty Howard: David Beckham pays heartfelt tribute to 'inspirational' fundraiser

David Beckham has paid a moving tribute to "inspirational" charity fundraiser Kirsty Howard, after her death aged 20.

Howard, who was born with her heart back to front, was expected to die before the age of four, but survived to raise millions for charity.

Beckham and Howard give the Jubilee Torch to the Queen at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in 2002. Credit: PA

During her tireless campaign work she touched a number of high profile figures - including Beckham, who held her hand as they led out England in a crucial, and now infamous, World Cup qualifier against Greece in 2001.

The pair were reunited a year later when she handed the Jubilee Baton to the Queen at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Victoria Beckham with Kirsty in 2002. Credit: PA

In a post on Facebook, the former England captain said: "Words cannot describe how amazing Kirsty has been over the years.

"We have spent some amazing moments together over the years and it was an inspiration to meet such a brave young lady with so much drive for helping others."

"My love and thoughts go to Kirsty's parents and sisters as this inspirational young lady will be missed," he added.

"My heart and love goes to Kirsty for letting me be a small part of your world over the years... Rest in peace."