Young Clarets fan who has undergone three operations to remove a brain tumour receives surprise hospital visit from Burnley player Ian Maatsen

A brave seven-year-old Burnley fan, who spent Christmas in hospital after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, received a visit from one of his favourite players.
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Charlie Paine's face lit up when Burnley player Ian Maatsen appeared at his bedside at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital the day after the Clarets played Manchester United. And the kind hearted player presented Charlie with the shirt he wore for the game at Old Trafford on Wednesday, December 21st.

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Charlie's dad, Kieran Paine, said it was the first time he had seen his little boy smile in a long time, adding: "I had told Charlie that Ian Maatsen was coming to see him and he was really excited because he such a big Burnley fan, we both are, and we go on the Turf as often as we can.

Charlie Paine receives a visit from Burnley player Ian Maatsen at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, surrounded by his dad Kieran, mum Megan and his grandma Elizabeth McCabe and nan Jane FosterCharlie Paine receives a visit from Burnley player Ian Maatsen at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, surrounded by his dad Kieran, mum Megan and his grandma Elizabeth McCabe and nan Jane Foster
Charlie Paine receives a visit from Burnley player Ian Maatsen at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, surrounded by his dad Kieran, mum Megan and his grandma Elizabeth McCabe and nan Jane Foster
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"When Ian arrived Charlie was just so happy to see him, it was wonderful."

The visit happened after Kieran read about the kind hearted Clarets defender announcing he planned to personally deliver groceries and gifts to 10 families in Burnley over the Christmas period to help with the cost of living crisis.

Kieran got in touch with Maatsen to tell him about Charlie's ordeal and he was stunned to receive a reply right away from the player to say that he would like to visit Charlie in hospital.

Kieran(27) a former student at Burnley's Blessed Trinity RC High School, said: "It was a really special moment for Charlie considering everything he has been through and he still has a long way to go."

Charlie Paine (seven) a devoted Clarets fan is currently in hospital after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour last monthCharlie Paine (seven) a devoted Clarets fan is currently in hospital after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour last month
Charlie Paine (seven) a devoted Clarets fan is currently in hospital after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour last month
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Charlie's tumour, which was the size of a tennis ball, was discovered just before Christmas after he fell ill while on a trip to the cinema with his dad. Unable to walk unaided Kieran rushed him to hospital and, after a series of tests and scans, the tumour was discovered.

Charlie was taken to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital where he has undergone three operations to remove the growth. And while the surgery was successful the brave youngster, who lives in Waterfoot with his mum, Megan Lowcock, still faces a long road to recovery.

Kieran, who lives in Littleborough, said: "This all began back at the beginning of last year when Charlie started having headaches that were so bad he missed school with them.

"We took him to the doctors and he was given painkillers for migraine but they didn't seem to work and the headaches kept happening."

Charlie and Theo ready to watch their beloved Burnley play at Turf MoorCharlie and Theo ready to watch their beloved Burnley play at Turf Moor
Charlie and Theo ready to watch their beloved Burnley play at Turf Moor
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Charlie's family knew something was seriously wrong when he was taken to choose a new bike for Christmas but was physically unable to ride it.

Kieran added: "He could ride a bike from the age of two so we knew something wasn't right but we didn't know what."

Kieran and Megan now want to raise awareness of headaches and migraines in children and appeal for parents to look out for symptoms that something much worse could be behind them.

Kieran added: "If your child is suffering like Charlie did then take them to the doctors right away and insist on tests and scans to get to the bottom of the cause."