Stars from the world of showbiz have given a Leeds boy a birthday present to remember after his mother revealed in a post on Twitter that a bully had broken his spirit.

Hollywood star Russell Crowe was among the scores of celebrities who reached out to Ollie Hope-Smith on social media with words of support after his concerned parent launched an appeal for messages ahead of his big day on 5 July.

According to the tweet, which quickly went viral, the young boy had endured months of relentless verbal abuse at the hands of an unnamed bully and had started to believe that he "shouldn't be here".

"The bully keeps saying to him that everything [Ollie] has, he has bigger/better/more often. [Ollie] excited for his birthday but keeps being told it won't be as good as his own," the message read.

"I would be so grateful and I appreciate it is an odd request. Just would love someone to tell him he does mean something and bullying is not ok, ever."

Within minutes celebrities started tweeting messages to the boy who had become too dejected to celebrate his birthday. Gladiator actor Crowe wrote: "Hey Ollie, heard it was your birthday. 9 years old eh? Congratulations, Happy Birthday !!"

Grime star Stormzy reassured Ollie that he was a "lil legend" and reminded him that bullies "always end up being the biggest wastemen later in life."

Astronaut Tim Peake responded by encouraging Ollie to keep his head up. "Hope your 9th birthday is out of this world Ollie. Just remember - a bully is a person too scared to do the right thing. Aim high dude!"

Presenter Jake Humphrey and YouTubers Alfie Deyes were among the famous names that went the extra mile by recording a special video for Ollie.

Following the online outpouring, Ollie's mother said the family had been overwhelmed by the wonderful messages. "[I] did not expect the reaction it has received. I for one thank each and everyone of you. I will respond as and when I can, I promise," she wrote. "Please just be kind to each other #PASSONTHEPOSITIVE and please be nice."

Cannes Film Festival 2016
Stormzy and Russell Crowe joined hundreds of celebrities wishing happy birthday to bullied boy after dad's Twitter plea