Preston players spread festive cheer on annual visit to Royal Preston Hospital

PNE captain Tom Clarke meets little Daisy-Mae at Royal Preston Hospital.
PNE captain Tom Clarke meets little Daisy-Mae at Royal Preston Hospital.

Preston North End’s players spread some festive cheer on their annual visit to Royal Preston Hospital.

The Lilywhites took time out to visit youngsters on the children’s ward on Tuesday, keeping up a yearly tradition.

PNE players giving out Christmas presents to the children at Royal Preston Hospital

PNE players giving out Christmas presents to the children at Royal Preston Hospital

The squad handed out presents, selection boxes and cards to the kids, some of whom will be spending Christmas in hospital. 
“It’s a big day in the calendar for us,” said Sally McCluskie, matron for children and young people’s services.

“The children are so excited to have the team here.

“No-one wants their children to be in hospital around Christmas, not knowing whether they will get out.

“That’s why we try and make it as much fun as possible so when they are here it’s not a horrible time for them and we can also ease the pressure on the parents.

Mia Sleaford with Darnell Fisher, Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne.

Mia Sleaford with Darnell Fisher, Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne.

“It’s been years and years they’ve been coming and it’s always been fantastic and everyone is so excited.

“It’s the local team coming to see the local children so it’s a massive thing for them.”

Fan favourite Ben Pearson was amongst the players lifting spirits at RPH with the full-first-team squad in attendance.

“It’s not nice for them to be in hospital around Christmas but if we can put a smile on just one person’s face and give something back then it’s worthwhile,” said the midfielder.

“In our position we should be contributing to the city in a positive way.

“We learn what they’re going through and it makes us realise how fortunate we are.”