Young cricket fan Ben Buckley had a welcome boost this week when he was visited in hospital by Nottinghamshire players AJ Harris and Will Jefferson.

Ben has been seriously ill with a rare strain of systemic lupus for two months in the paediatric ward at the Queen’s Medical Centre.

But the nine-year-old from Eastwood is now expected to make a full recovery and his father Tom believes the surprise visit was the perfect pick-me-up.

Said Tom: “We’re a cricket-mad family and Ben knows the names of most of the Notts players.

“We were both members at Trent Bridge last year and Ben played for my club, Eastwood Town and for Lynncroft Primary School before his illness.

“It was very kind of AJ and Will to take the time to come and visit Ben and I know how much it cheered him up.”

Ben, who is pictured receiving a signed shirt with his older brother Ryan, is expected to continue his programme of rehabilitation and physiotherapy over the next few weeks before returning home.