LIFE-LONG West Ham United fan Dene Prentice’s dream came true when club legend Sir Trevor Brooking paid him a visit at St Luke’s Hospice.

Dene, 38, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has been given the heartbreaking news that he has just weeks to live.

Having been cared for at St Luke’s Hospice, in Basildon, for close to four weeks, Dene was given the opportunity to meet one of his heroes.

After growing up watching the Hammers and idolising Brooking, Dene admitted: “Meeting Sir Trevor was one of my dreams come true.”

And his mother Dianne Prentice was grateful for the former England international, who won 47 caps for his country, taking the time to meet her son.

Dianne said: “Dene was asked what his wishes were and that was one of them.

“It was amazing and we always wanted to meet him.

“He spent a good half hour with us in there and he spoke to Dene and myself.

“He spoke to us as though he had known us for years. It was absolutely fantastic.”

Brooking, 69, spoke to Dene, Dianne and niece Kayleigh Brown about all things West Ham.

The Hammers legend then presented Dene with a signed 1980 FA Cup final shirt - a match in which Brooking scored the only goal as West Ham defeated Arsenal to win the trophy at Wembley.

And Brooking was happy to meet Dene and the hard-working staff at St Luke’s Hospice.

Brooking said: “It’s a seriously tough environment because everyone knows how ill the patients are and how the families are trying to deal with it.

“I have links to one or two other hospices and it’s amazing how they thrive off the quality of the staff.

“They seem able to handle all of the situations and try to make it as easy as possible.

“Basildon is a strong West Ham area, as Essex predominantly is, and so I have been in a few times and it’s great that you can give everyone a lift at what is a difficult time.

“Hopefully doing one or two photos will help and it’s not too much for them to ask for so I was pleased to come down and meet Dene, the other patients and staff at St Luke’s Hospice.”

Dianne was also full of praise for the staff who have taken care of her son.

Dianne added: “Dene has been here for nearly four weeks and the care he has received at St Luke’s Hospice has been amazing.

“We couldn’t have wished for better and I wouldn’t know how to say thank you.”