Josh Vela surprises Bolton fan Joshua with his North West Tonight Christmas Star Award

Wanderers midfielder Josh Vela surprised his namesake Joshua Greaves with one of BBC North West Tonight's Christmas Star Awards on Tuesday afternoon.

The Whites' No.6 made the short journey to St George's C of E Primary School in Westhoughton following training to surprise 11-year-old Joshua - a huge Bolton Wanderers fan - with his accolade.

And safe to say, the youngster was certainly shell-shocked as his favourite player walked through the doors of his classroom to hand over his special award.

Joshua had been nominated by his headteacher, with him having already overcome a life full of challenges despite his tender years.

Already famous across the world of medicine due to the unique combination of barriers he has, he has already lost his sight in one eye and has reduced vision in the other and as a result, uses a guide dog.

He has had a number of very serious operations already in his short life including recent brain surgery and is a frequent visitor to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.

Despite his tribulations however, Joshua's personality is infectious and he has been referred to as "a little ray of sunshine" and as one of the most polite, personable and well-liked boys that St George's have had the privilege to educate.

He is actively fundraising for a charity that provide dogs for the blind and for Alder Hey Hospital also, with his efforts earning him one of North West Tonight's special awards during the current festive period.

Speaking following the surprise visit, Vela said, "Joshua really is an inspirational little boy. What he has achieved despite his health problems is incredible and he should be extremely proud of himself.

"It was great to come down here today to surprise him and meet him - he's a great character and very much deserves his award."

Footage from Josh's visit will be shown on North West Tonight on Wednesday 13 December from 6.30pm onwards.

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