Children being cared for at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital near Cramlington received a surprise visit from players at Newcastle United this afternoon.
Chancel Mbemba, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Cheick Tiote and Freddie Woodman met children, their families and staff on the visit, which is part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s programme of festive activities throughout its hospitals.
Ward manager Carole Clayton said: “The Newcastle players’ visit is always eagerly anticipated and it’s one of the highlights of our festive programme, and our whole year.
“The Christmas period is a difficult time for people – especially our younger patients – to be in hospital and the players’ visit has really lifted the children’s spirits.
“We’d like to thank Newcastle United for taking time out during a busy period to come to see us – it’s greatly appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.”
The presents handed out, which were donated by the squad, included Newcastle United footballs and calendars.
Aleksandar Mitrovic said: “It was a privilege to visit the children at The Northumbria hospital with some of my team-mates this afternoon and give out presents.
“Seeing the children in here at Christmas time really puts things into perspective, so the least we could do was take some time out of our schedules to pay them a visit and try to put smiles on their faces.”