Big-hearted Doncaster Rovers players brought some seasonal smiles and festive cheer when they scored success with youngsters at two local care centres.
A string of the club’s stars dropped in at South Yorkshire’s Bluebell Wood hospice and Doncaster Royal Infirmary bringing smiles to young patients.
Players including Rob Jones, Richard Chaplow, Nathan Tyson and James Coppinger visited Bluebell Wood to meet children and young adults, and their families.
Meanwhile Andy Butler, Thorsten Stuckmann, Andy Williams and Jordi Hedges joined first team manager Darren Ferguson and chief executive of the Dons Carl Hall as they visited numerous children and their families on the ward at DRI.
The players were given a tour of the facilities at Bluebell Wood, including the cinema room, messy play room, lounge area and soft play area.
The hospice is currently supporting around 250 families across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of Lincolnshire.
The players donated Christmas presents and vouchers for the children to enjoy.
Chief executive, Claire Rintoul, said: “We’re here to care for and support children and young adults with life shortening conditions. I’d like to say a huge thanks to Doncaster Rovers taking time out of their busy schedules to come and visit our children and families.
“Visits such as this go a long way towards helping to create even more special memories for families facing incredibly tough times.”
Footballer Nathan Tyson had never visited the hospice before and was overwhelmed by the amount of things children and families can enjoy at Bluebell Wood.
He said: “Having a place like Bluebell Wood on hand, for families who need them, is incredible. I was humbled to be able to put a smile on children’s faces, especially at Christmas time.
“We are so glad to show our support for such an amazing cause.”
Star striker Andy Williams underlined the importance of taking time out to visit the youngsters: “It’s really important that we do visits like this. Christmas is a special time of year and no one wants to be in hospital at this time. “It’s hard seeing the kids who are so poorly, but if we can put a smile on their face for a few minutes during the day and give them something to remember whilst giving them a present, then it’s the least we can do in our position. Hopefully there were some smiling children.”
Jane Morgan, class teacher at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary hospital school also thanked the club and said: “Once again thank you to Doncaster Rovers and Doncaster Rugby League Club for their generous Christmas gifts for the children. It really gives the kids and their families a great boost when they are poorly at Christmas.”