Players from Manchester City’s men’s and women’s teams helped spread some festive cheer to hundreds of brave youngsters as they visited four hospitals across Greater Manchester.
Earlier today, Pep Guardiola’s team arrived at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital armed with bundles of presents and handmade Christmas cards from Manchester City’s Academy players, ready to surprise more than 400 children.
During the visit, Blues skipper, Vincent Kompany, teamed up with manager, Pep Guardiola and teammate, Kevin De Bruyne to invite a group of football mad fans for an extra special treat in the hospital’s Teen Zone. The trio took time getting to know the youngsters and their families before getting involved with a foosball competition.
Ahead of the visit, the players pledged their support to the hospital by committing to fund a Health Measurement Kiosk which will help patients, families and members of staff calculate their heart age free of charge.
The project will be the first of its kind to build an infrastructure inside an acute hospital to support well-being and establish a research database where users can voluntarily donate their data for research purposes.
Earlier this week, the women’s team split into groups and headed to The Christie, Francis House and Wythenshawe Starlight Unit to deliver gifts and see first-hand the specialist healthcare services being provided to children across the North West and beyond.
During the visits, players took part in creative art sessions, table tennis tournaments and organised animated foosball games with some of the youngsters.
Commenting on Manchester City’s visits Vincent Kompany said: “Whenever I visit the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital I’m blown away by the spirit and bravery of all the youngsters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. It’s a difficult time of year to be spending in hospital, but the staff and volunteers do an amazing job and hopefully everyone has enjoyed today.”
City captain, Steph Houghton continued: “It was a pleasure to take some time out of training to visit the children at the Starlight Unit. It was fantastic to see the smiles on their faces and a real honour for the team to be able to give something back to our local community.”
Sarah Naismith, Director of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity added: “We are incredibly grateful to Pep and all the men’s and women’s players who take the time each year to visit our patients, bringing presents and spreading festive cheer. Meeting the players really does lift spirits, putting a big smile on the faces of those children who are unfortunately spending Christmas in hospital.”
Manchester City’s hospital visits form part of the Club’s wider Christmas campaign where, earlier this month, local elderly residents and their carers were welcomed to City Football Academy for a special Christmas lunch and Club staff spent time volunteering at the Booth Centre, an organisation which provides support to homeless people in Manchester.