Charlie Gard's tragic story touched the hearts of millions of people and as his parents announced his sad passing, the world shared their heartbreak at the loss of their beloved baby boy.

Announcing his death today ( 28 August) his mother Connie Yates said in a statement: "Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie".

The 11-month-old, who was due to mark his first birthday in a week on Friday 4th August, has been at the centre of a bitter court battle between his parents Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, and doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Charlie suffered from a rare mitochondrial disease that left him unable to swallow, see, hear or move his arms and legs.

While his parents wanted to take their son to the US for experimental treatment for the rare genetic condition that had left him brain damaged, GOSH claimed the nucleoside bypass therapy would prolong his suffering.

The emotive case that has divided public opinion was heard in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Each time, judges found in favour of GOSH and against Charlie's parents.

The couple were finally compelled to abandon their fight for Charlie after scans suggested that his condition had deteriorated to the "point of no return."

Their ordeal continued as they faced a second legal battle as they pleaded with the courts to allow them their final wish to spend 'quality time' with their and allow him to die at home away from the glare of the media and the scrutiny of the courts.

However, he was moved to a hospice yesterday following a judgement which stated he would be taken off life support after a matter of hours.

Charlie's fight had garnered global attention and as the news broke Twitter erupted with messages of grief and support for Charlie's parents as friends, supporters, celebrities, even journalists who had for months reported on the controversial case and members of the public who had followed the family's plight, reached out to express their sadness at the news.

US Vice President Mike Pence lead the tributes writing: "Saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gard. Karen & I offer our prayers & condolences to his loving parents during this difficult time."

Presenter and former news editor Piers Morgan wrote poignantly: "A brave little boy who touched the world."

Sharing a photo of Charlie Sky News presenter Kay Burley added: "God bless, little man."

Members of the public shared their regret at his passing and the injustice of his case as his parents were left helpless in the face of the courts.

"RIP Charlie Gard the whole world got to know you and how much your parents loved you," said one person.

Another said: "The wishes of your parents regarding both your life and death were never respected, but know you were loved. Sleep Well xx"

"Bless this boy and his parents put up such a fight. I'm so sorry for you loss. My thoughts are with your family. RIP Charlie Gard ❤️❤️"

Others expressed their support for Great Ormond Street Hospital who for five months had been embroiled in a heartbreaking court battle with Charlie's parents over his treatment as doctors insisted his life support treatment should be replaced with palliative care so Charlie could "die with dignity".

Speaking after announcing they ended their legal battle, Connie Yates said: "We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time, and we would ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.

"Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn't save you.

"Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy."

Speaking after the parents confirmed they would not continue their legal battle, Great Ormond Street Hospital said: "The agony, desolation and bravery of their decision command GOSH's utmost respect and humble all who work there."

Charlie's case had prompted both the Pope and US President Donald Trump to offer their prayers and pledges of support while a public fundraising campaign had raised over £1 million.