Brandon meets his Magpie heroes

Tim Krul, Brandon Ballance, David Santon and Danny Simpson
Tim Krul, Brandon Ballance, David Santon and Danny Simpson

A BRAVE little boy who has battled a brain tumour for most of his life was given an early Christmas present – when he was treated to an unforgettable trip to meet his Newcastle United heroes.

Toon fan Brandon Ballance, from Amble, rubbed shoulders with the likes of keeper Tim Krul and manager Alan Pardew while he was a special guest of honour for the day at the Magpies’ Benton training complex earlier this week.

It was an experience that the courageous nine-year-old will remember forever.

His mum Sarah Nicholson said she was overwhelemd by the gesture, adding: “I’d like to thank the manager, players and staff – they were absolutely fantastic and everyone was so generous with their time.”

During his action-packed visit, Brandon met United staff for breakfast, was taken on a guided tour of the facility and watched the players train.

Boss Pardew joined Brandon for coffee and invited the family to stay for lunch with first-team players and legend Peter Beardsley.

Trident Soccer FA coach Ryan Jobson arranged the visit and thanked the club for giving ‘inspirational’ Brandon a ‘special day’.

The youngster has lived with an inoperable brain tumour since he was diagnosed at two years old and has had to endure chemotherapy, radiotherapy and lengthy stays in hospital.

Earlier this year, Brandon fulfilled his dream of swimming with dolphins after a huge public fund-raising appeal sent him on a magical trip to Florida.