FROM a private memento for a loved one to a chart-storming track to raise money for charity.

That is the journey of Autumn, a song recorded by Chiswick 16-year-old Sarah Phillips just hours before her mother died earlier this year.

The track, a cover of the Paolo Nutini song, has been an unprecedented hit on video-sharing website YouTube, generating thousands of hits and comments.

The song was recorded without accompaniment on a mobile phone just four hours before Debbie Phillips passed away.

The rendition is a poignant and emotional tribute, with the tragedy of the situation clearly reflected in Miss Phillips' voice.

Speaking to the Chronicle on Wednesday, Sarah said: "I just needed a bit of time to myself. I was in my room and I had the lyrics on the screen. I just kind of sang it because I wanted to see how it sounded.

"I heard it a few years ago and the lyric 'you still live on in my father's eyes' really appealed to me as being appropriate."

The song was originally set to images of Debbie with her family on various holidays over the years for YouTube. Since then it has been transferred to iTunes as a track available for purchase at 79 pence.

Interest in the tribute has boomed since it appeared online and the song has been in the UK Top 40, as well as hitting number 48 on the iTunes chart, beating music by the likes of Robbie Williams, The Black Eyed Peas and The Saturdays.

When she recorded it, Sarah had no idea it would be a great chance to raise money in memory of her mother for The Debbie Phillips Cervical Cancer Research Fund.

The song has already raised £69,000 for the cause.

Sarah, who lives in Netheravon Road, said: "I think it is great that something positive has come out of something so tragic. It's really good.

"If it can get into the top 40 in the UK chart, that would be great. I would love to hear it on the radio on Sunday."