Kent

Marvel gets Spider-Man headstone plea from grieving dad

Ollie Jones with his father Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Ollie Jones's face used to "light up" when he saw Spider-Man, his father said

A grieving father who wants to place a Spider-Man headstone on his four-year-old son's grave is still awaiting permission from media giant Marvel, six months after his child's death.

Ollie Jones died days before Christmas from a rare genetic condition.

Lloyd Jones said his son's face would "light up" when he saw the superhero.

The family, from Kent, said they had repeatedly asked Marvel but heard nothing back. The BBC has contacted the company but had no response.

They told the Kent Messenger they had created an early design of the headstone that would read: "Your beaming smile will stay in our hearts and minds forever."

Mr Jones said his son, who died from leukodystrophy, a condition affecting the brain and spinal cord, was "crazy" about Spider-Man and would have wanted the headstone.

Explaining how Ollie could not talk properly but would try to say his favourite character's name, he said: "The way he said it was really funny...he was just crazy about it, so yes I think if there is an afterlife and he's looking down, he'd definitely love to have it."

He said: "I just wanted something a bit special for him because he was my pride and joy, my perfect little baby, the best thing that ever happened to me."

Image copyright Spider-Man/YouTube
Image caption Spider-Man is one of Marvel's biggest superheroes

Ollie's uncle Jason Jones said: "I know someone out there will know someone - we've tried emailing, we've tried phoning.

"It's all paid for, the design's done, the man's ready to cut the stone. We just need that letter saying we can do it."

The website for Marvel's parent company Disney states all requests to use its content must be submitted in writing and responses can take several weeks.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Ollie's father said the headstone was to remember "the best thing that ever happened"

Maidstone Borough Council, which owns Maidstone Cemetery, said it contacted Marvel on behalf of the family, but added: "Sadly, these types of stones have to adhere to copyright."

"The Maidstone Borough Council Bereavement Services team will do everything they can to help," he said.

Image caption The family are waiting for written permission so they can finish the grave

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