Football fans staying at The Children’s Hospital, Sheffield, received an early Christmas present when the Sheffield Wednesday squad visited young patients on the wards.
The team’s annual visit to the wards saw them deliver cuddly toys and signed calendars to the star-struck Owls fans, alongside manager Dave Jones and chairman Milan Mandaric.
Winger Michail Antonio, said: “It’s great to come along to the hospital and meet the young patients, who are all so brave, and see the fantastic work carried out by the staff.”
“No one wants to be in hospital, especially at Christmas time, so seeing the kids smile even though they are having a difficult time, is a very rewarding experience.”
Chairman Milan Mandaric, said: “Our relationship with this prestigious hospital and being able to play a part in the community is something the club is extremely proud of. It’s always a privilege to be part of the club’s visit.”
Football fan Jac Ashurst, aged nine, said that the visit from the team was a great way to end his two-month stay on the wards.
Mum Jane, 46, from Rotherham, said: “Jac had a very serious road accident and had a fractured pelvis and two broken legs. There was also a chance that he would suffer brain damage.
“Since then he’s made a miraculous recovery and it’s definitely down to his fighting spirit and the amazing doctors and nurses who have looked after him here. We can’t wait to have him home for Christmas and meeting the footballers was such a lovely send-off for him.”
Jac said: “I’ve had a few operations so it was cool showing off my battle scars to the players – they thought I was very brave."
Simon Athey, fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity said, “It was a fantastic boost for our patients to meet some of their sporting idols. Many of them have been staying in the hospital for quite a long time, so visits like these can be really uplifting.”
“Sheffield Wednesday has been a long-time supporter of the charity so it’s also a lovely treat for the staff who work so hard all year round to provide excellent care.”
The club would like to thank Stotts Coaches for providing transport to the hospital and driver Richard Poulain for donating his time.
To find out how you can make Christmas even more special for the young patients at The Children’s Hospital, please visit: www.tchc.org.uk/christmas