Preston North End’s players spread plenty of festive cheer on their annual visit to see young fans in hospital.
Led by manager Simon Grayson and captain Tom Clarke the entire squad and management surprised youngsters and handed out presents on the children’s ward of the Royal Preston Hospital yesterday.
“It’s great to put a smile on the faces of less fortunate people,” said Grayson, whose side host Leeds at Deepdale on Boxing Day.
“We’re more than happy to come here, some of the players even had their eyes on the selection boxes.
“As a professional sports person people look up to you and it’s important you give up some of your time to do things like this.
“It’s one thing that our football club is good at doing is getting out in the community.
“The players are very forthcoming in offering their help so for a couple of hours it’s the least we can do.”
Goalkeeper Chris Maxwell, who joined the club in the summer from Fleetwood, said it was a vital part of the work the players did off the pitch and hoped the visit had brought some light relief to the kids and their families.
“It’s important that the lads do their bit for the community,” he said. “It’s sad to see some of the kids here that are going to be spending their Christmas in hospital. “I haven’t got kids myself, but I can imagine it’s such a tough time for the parents.
“The kids may not know any different but for the parents it’s hard so to see the support of Preston North End’s players and staff is really important.
“It can take their minds off the problems that are going on in their lives.
“I’m proud to do my bit and I know the other lads are proud to do their bit as well.”