Preston North End squad spread Christmas cheer in visit to Royal Preston Hospital

Preston North End players spread some Christmas cheer on the children's ward at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 4:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 6:33 am
The Preston North End squad - and Deepdale Duck - at the Royal Preston Hospital. Picture: Neil Cross

The first-team squad were out of force - including injured top scorer Callum Robinson on crutches - to tour the ward and give presents out to youngsters who having to spend Christmas and the build-up to it, in hospital.

The players chatted with the children and their parents, leaving bags of PNE goodies for them to enjoy

They were led by mischievous mascot Deepdale Duck who helped the children and players have plenty of fun.

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Preston midfielder Daniel Johnson with Thomas Wilding. Picture: Neil Cross

Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd said the visit to Royal Preston Hospital was always a special one.

Rudd said: "Having kids yourself, you know the importance of making Christmas as good and as enjoyable as possible.

"The children in here are in a bit of a difficult situation so hopefully we can put a smile on their faces.

"My little one was in a hospital for a few weeks when she was a baby and you realise the great work the hospitals do.

Preston players Josh Harrop and Paul Gallagher with Aidan Porter. Picture: Neil Cross

"It is nice to visit, meet the children and cheer them up as much as possible.

"If some of them can be out of hospital in time for Christmas, that would be great."

One young PNE fan, Joel Shaw, presented his favourite North End player Alan Browne with a Christmas card.

Sally McCluskie, matron at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “It’s an absolutely fantastic opportunity to have the Preston North End players visit our ward each year.

PNE fan Joel Shaw presents a Christmas card to North End midfielder Alan Browne, Picture: Neil Cross

"It’s amazing for our children to be able to meet the players and it really puts a big smile on their faces.

"We want to say a big thank you to everyone at PNE for taking the time every year to make Christmas on the ward extra special, and for spending time with our young patients.

"All of the staff, patients, and their families really appreciate what they do, and we’re very grateful."