A BRAVE teenager who has been battling cancer for the last year has been given the gift of meeting his footballing hero.
Sam Mclean, who lives in Hebden Bridge and is a life-long Newcastle United supporter, spent an afternoon with former player, manager and now football pundit Alan Shearer.
The meeting was organised by the Willow Foundation, a national charity which provides special days for seriously ill people.
Eighteen-year-old Sam was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in December 2009, just two weeks before Christmas.
He had been feeling unwell for several weeks and anti-biotics he was given by the doctors did not ease his symptoms. He had also lost weight.
When tests showed he had Hodgkins lymphoma, he was rushed into hospital to start treatment straight away.
His mother, Jane Horsfall, said: "I just couldn't believe it when they told me, I felt total disbelief.
"They said it was at stage four which is the latest stage it gets to. It was a nightmare."
Stage four is known as an advanced stage of the body cells disease, when it has spread outside the lymph nodes to organs such as the liver, bones or lungs.
Sam had to undergo months of treatment, but is now recovering and looking to the future.
"He is now doing brilliantly after chemotherapy, radiotherapy and so much pain, blood sweat and tears," said Mrs Horsfall.
"He has to keep going back for tests and will do for the next five years."
Sam is a former Calder High School student who is currently at Calderdale College.
He also works as a driving instructor but hopes one day to be a firefighter.