Chesterfield players sprinkled some festive spirit as they made their annual visit to Chesterfield Royal Hospital to meet young patients.
In a visit organised by the club’s Community Trust, the players handed over official club merchandise and gifts donated by Tesco Distribution Centre to the excited youngsters.
The players took time out from their training schedule ahead of the game against Burton Albion to mingle with some of the children, pose for photos and sign autographs.
Goalkeeper Tommy Lee outlined the importance of the initiative. “It’s always nice to come down because it can be a difficult time for a child if they are in hospital over the Christmas period,” he said. “I’m sure if I was their age then I would have loved to see my heroes hand out gifts, so if we can do this then we are more than happy.”
Carl Bevan from Tesco Distribution Centre said that the company was more than happy to provide a helping hand with some of the gifts. He said: “We’re delighted to be working with Chesterfield Football Club. It’s a good opportunity to put something back into the community.
“The only thing that really matters though is the children, so if we can put a smile on their faces then it’s good news for all of us.”
Ward matron Tracy Barker said that the children were overjoyed to see the players, with the visit raising morale at a crucial time. “It has certainly lifted the spirits of the patients,” she added. “No one wants to be in hospital over Christmas, especially children, so it has been really positive.”
A spokesman for the hospital thanked Chesterfield FC Community Trust officials for arranging the visit. “We’d like to thank everyone at the football club for coming down and really making the day for a lot of our patients,” he said.
“A number of the children are Chesterfield fans and it has made such a difference to their mood. Visits such as this one make a massive difference to our young patients, helping to improve their morale which is an aid to recovery.”