Players from Manchester City and Manchester City Women’s teams sprinkled a touch of seasonal cheer to hundreds of children on their annual visit to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Led by skipper Vincent Kompany, the team arrived at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon to see first-hand how the hospital provides specialist healthcare services for children and young people from across the North West and beyond.
Upon arrival, the players split into small groups, armed with presents to hand deliver to every young person in the hospital. The players also unveiled sensory equipment donated for the hospital’s sensory room.
Six football fans, selected by the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital charity, were then given an extra special festive treat as they took part in a table football competition with Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Jill Scott.
Commenting on the visit, Kompany said: "Every year, I’m blown away by the spirit and bravery of all the young people we meet.
"It can’t be easy spending the Christmas season in hospital but everyone there makes a huge contribution and it’s great to see.
"We’ve worked closely with the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for a number of years and to be a part of the great work they do is a real privilege for all of us."
Sarah Naismith, Head of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, commented: "We cannot thank Manchester City enough for taking the time to see our children.
"The Club always goes the extra mile to ensure our patients have the best experience possible.
"Being in hospital at Christmas time can be especially difficult for children and their families.
"Visits like this really do help make things a little easier - the smiles of the children really are invaluable.
"We would also like to thank the club for their donation of sensory items to the hospital, these gifts will make a huge difference to the patients we look after.”
The long-standing relationship with the hospital saw the Club donate £500,000 to the ‘New Children’s Hospital Appeal’ to support their outdoor play area in 2010.
"During the 2011/12 season, the Club also funded a set of animated DVDs to introduce each child to the hospital.
"This season, as well being part of the official team photo, patients have also been invited to attend VIP match days."
Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital charity have a bucket collection at taking place at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 19 March.