A three-year-old boy with a rare medical condition was given an early Christmas present – meeting Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer.
Little Aidan Jackowiak Smith had his photograph taken with the Toon idol last Thursday, during a visit to the Alan Shearer Centre.
The Alnwick tot, who has Cloves Syndrome, suffering swelling to his face and body, attends the service every week to use the hydrotherapy pool.
The centre is a highly specialist, respite, residential and social facility for people with complex disabilities and acute sensory impairments.
It was the first time that Aidan got to meet the ex-England star. The youngster also met some reindeer that were there on the day.
His mother Vikki said: “Alan was such a lovely person. He was incredibly genuine and was really interested in Aidan and what is wrong with him.
“Aidan really benefits from the hydrotherapy pool at the centre. He also uses the centre’s sensory area.”
The family, which includes father Karl and Aidan’s older brother Daniel, are looking forward to spending their first Christmas in their new Alnwick house, which has been turned from a dilapidated shell into a cosy home, suitable for Aidan’s needs.
The property was transformed thanks to a community DIY SOS-themed campaign, which was launched at the start of July by the Gazette, in partnership with town-based MKM Building Supplies.
Karl said that being in their Fire Station Cottages home in time for Christmas was the best present the family could have.
The family also received another early Christmas present last week, when they were given £250 from Lesbury’s Coach Inn Onion Club.
The money is a financial boost, helping the family pay for costly hospital trips to Newcastle and London.