AS half-term surprises go, meeting the full England squad at Wembley takes some beating, but that was the treat for one Doncaster youngster.
Footy-mad Dalton Caustan, who suffers from a rare heart condition, got the chance to meet his footballing idols and coach Fabio Capello ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland.
The 11-year-old of Tait Avenue, Edlington, and his brother Connor, 13, suffer from genetic condition Alstrom Syndrome which affects 30 to 40 families in the UK.
Dalton and Connor travelled to London with dad Perry after Starlight, a charity which provides treats for terminal and seriously ill youngsters, fixed up the visit.
Perry said: “Since his birth he has been in and out of Leeds General Infirmary and also Birmingham Children’s Hospital where they specialise in Alstrom syndrome.”
“He has just had an assessment at the moment for a heart transplant in Newcastle and there is a big chance that he will eventually have to have one.
“The day at Wembley was an amazing day, he absolutely loved it.
“He hasn’t stopped talking about it. He has taken all his photos into school showing his teacher and his classmates.”
Dalton, who has been in and out off hospital for numerous operations since birth, was taken to the stadium in a luxury Mercedes owned by rock superstars Kings of Leon.
During the visit players, including Rio Ferdinand, posed for pictures with Dalton, who is deaf and blind.
The Edlington Victoria School pupil had his England shirt signed.
He also received a pair of signed boots from captain John Terry as well as signed CDs from Kings of Leon.
The trio were put up in the luxury Crowne Plaza hotel where the American rockers were also staying.
And it seems the former Manchester united fan has changed allegiances after meeting his new hero John Terry.
Perry added: “Dlaton said John Terry really loudly and Rio Ferdinand and everybody started laughing
“He loves his football and plays with his friends at school in the playground all the time..
“He says he supports Chelsea now.”
In 2002 the family held a charity auction at the Royal British Legion Hall in Edlington in order to raise money for charity Alstrom UK.
The family is now planning to stage another fundraiser, details of which have yet to be announced.