A YOUNG football fan was overjoyed to see his beloved Blackburn Rovers play in Sunday's FA Cup match - just days after having a major operation.
It was touch and go whether brave 12-year-old Thomas Stinson would be well enough to make the trek to Old Trafford to watch his team play Chelsea at the weekend.
But determined Thomas, of Burton Street, Rishton, was there to cheer his team on - in spite of Rovers getting knocked out of the cup in a 2-1 defeat.
Thomas was born with a catalogue of health problems including a duplication of the colon which means he has a double bowel.
His parents Jeff and Lisa were hoping the operation would help him live without the colostomy bag which he has had from the age of two after his condition was discovered.
As well as the colon condition he also has problems with an artery in his heart as well as a spinal curvature which could affect him in later life.
But following a gruelling operation, he was allowed home and was delighted when he was offered a free ticket to the match by Blackburn Rovers.
Jeff, 40, said: "We are really proud of him. He never complains about his condition, he just gets on with it and we have always treated him like a normal lad.
"He is very outgoing and he loves his football. He is a red hot Rovers fan and always has been. When he'd had the operation as soon as he woke up he was adamant he was going to the match.
"I remember him saying that if he could make the effort to get well for the match, the team should make the effort to play well."
Thomas, a pupil at Norden High School and Sports College has brothers Jack, eight and Oliver, two.
Jeff said: "Although Chelsea beat us we made a lot more noise than them. We were all set to book our tickets for Wembley but it just wasn't to be and we missed some good chances.
"Obviously we were disappointed with the score but Thomas really enjoyed the game and there was a really good atmosphere there."