Children and teenagers at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital received a surprise visit from Exeter City footballers.
The visit took place as part of the club’s community day, which also saw a get together for older fans and a squad calendar signing event at St James Park.
Thanks to a whip round from the players, a donation from Nevada Construction and a contribution from Smyths Toys Superstore, the club was able to buy Christmas gifts worth more than £800.
The players in attendance were Pierce Sweeney, Will Aimson, Gary Woods, Janic Wildschut, Tom Carroll and Reece Cole, along with manager Gary Caldwell and club mascot Grecian the Lion.
The group distributed gifts to young patients on Bramble Ward, as well as on the paediatric outpatient department. They spent time talking to the children, some of whom will be spending this Christmas in hospital, and their families.
Gary Caldwell, said: “We take our role in the community very seriously at Exeter City and we’re pleased to be able to bring a little bit of respite to the children and their families on Bramble Ward. The players who attended all have children themselves, so I think it means they can empathise that bit more with the families of the children on the ward.
“Thanks to the donations from Nevada Construction and the generosity of Smyths Toys superstores, along with the players’ contribution, we were able to take in some really lovely gifts.”
The visit to Bramble Ward was organised with the help of Royal Devon Hospitals Charity.
Royal Devon Hospitals Charity community fundraiser, Debbie Allen, said: “It was a really special afternoon for young patients at the RD&E. We can’t thank Gary and his players enough for giving up their time to pop in and bring so many smiles to so many faces.
“Thanks also to Nevada Construction, Smyths Toys, the players and the Grecian groups for their kind donations. It was wonderful to see how support from the football club and the local business community can make a real difference at our hospital.”