Doncaster Rovers stars and fellow Club Doncaster players put smiles on faces with Doncaster Royal Infirmary Christmas visit

From delivering on the pitch to delivering Christmas presents, players from Doncaster Rovers, the Dons and Belles handed out some early festive cheer at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 11:40 am
Emily Burgin and Kieron Lawton meet a young patient at Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Emily Burgin and Kieron Lawton meet a young patient at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

The group of representatives of Club Doncaster teams visited the children’s ward at DRI to meet poorly youngsters, from newborns to teenagers.

Rovers were represented by captain Ben Whiteman plus Reece James and Donervon Daniels. Jason Tali and Kieron Lawton visited on behalf of the Dons while Tori Thomas and Emily Burgin represented the Belles.

They handed out presents, took pictures and chatted with parents, with Whiteman admitting it was a pleasure to help put smiles on faces at a difficult time.

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Players from the three Club Doncaster teams with teaching staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary children's ward

“It’s obviously a special time of the year with Christmas approaching,” Whiteman said.

“It’s always nice to go out and see Doncaster people of all different backgrounds who are going through illness and operations and it’s nice to cheer them up for a bit.

“I’ve done it before. I did it with Sheffield United at Bluebell Wood and I’ve been to Doncaster before.

“It’s always special and nice to hear people’s stories of what they’re going through and try to help even a little bit by lifting their spirits.

Players from the three Club Doncaster teams with staff and patients on the children's ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary

“Smiles on faces are the main thing. It’s a nice time of the year but sometimes it’s very difficult for people who are ill or going through operations.

“It’s nice to cheer them up a little bit.”

Hospital school teacher Claire Riley said the annual visit is one of the highlights of the festive period.

“It’s a time of year where it’s so hard for parents and children, being in hospital, so they really do appreciate having the visit,” Riley said.

Reece James, Kieron Lawton and Jason Tali meet a young fan

“It brightens up what can be a really stressful time so we really appreciate it.

“They’ve been coming for some years now and every year it’s lovely to see the children so happy.

“It takes their minds off what is happening and it’s the same with the parents too, even if they’ve got young babies it brightens up their day too.

“We really appreciate everything that Club Doncaster has done over the past few years in coming and visiting us at Christmas.”

The Dons' Kieron Lawton and Jason Tali meet a young patent at Doncaster Royal Infirmary on the annual Christmas visit.
l-r: The Dons' Jason Tali and Kieron Lawton, Reece James, Donervon Daniels and Ben Whiteman from Doncaster Rovers and the Belles' Emily Burgin and Tori Thomas.
Jason Tali, Tori Thomas and Reece James meet a young fan at Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Doncaster Rovers' Ben Whiteman and Reece James meet at fan on their visit to Doncaster Royal Infirmary