YOUNG Clarets player Jack Errington had a surprise visitor in hospital as he recovered from major heart surgery – Rovers legend Alan Shearer.

The 18-year-old central defender needed an operation after he was diagnosed with an enlarged aorta during a routine check-up in October.

The condition, very rare for a person of his age, could prove fatal if undetected.

Shearer was visiting the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, where Jack underwent surgery to compress the aorta, which takes blood from the heart to all parts of the body, after being made patron of the specialist Children’s Heart Unit.

Shearer said: “It’s an incredible story as he was just tested after what happened to Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba.

“He actually said to me when they gave him his results, he thought they were joking.

“Now he’s had the operation, he’s back on the mend, and hopefully he’ll be back playing professional football in a few months’ time.

“It shows that a little good has come out of Muamba’s situation, which was unfortunate for Fabrice but, in a way, he’s helped someone else.”

Like Shearer, Jack graduated from the famous Wallsend Boys’ Club, in their home town of Newcastle, which also produced ex-Burnley stars Philip Cavener and Brian Laws, and former Blackburn striker Graham Fenton.

The teenager was handed a professional contract at Turf Moor during the summer after impressing in Terry Pashley’s youth team last season.

Jack, who hopes to be back playing again next season, admitted he was ‘dead shocked’ when doctors at Burnley's training base, at Gawthorpe, told him he needed surgery.

He said: “At first they said it wasn’t too bad, but something could happen in 20 years and, since I was a footballer, I had to get it done as soon as.”

Jack played a key role in the second-half of last season as he helped the youth team reach the last four of the Football Association Youth Cup.

And he was at Old Trafford last Friday to cheer on his team-mates as they defeated Man-chester United 4-3 in the same competition.