Patients, staff and visitors all had a ball with Saddlers’ first team squad when the players visited Walsall Manor Hospital to spread some Christmas cheer.
Accompanied by mascot Swifty the Walsall Football Club stars went on to Ward 21 Paediatric Assessment Unit yesterday and gave young patients an early festive treat by handing over presents donated by fans and members of the Supporters Trust.
And their visit proved to be the best medicine judging by all the happy faces across the ward.
Midfielder Stuart Sinclair said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to see everyone. We hope the little-uns enjoyed it and it helped to break up and brighten their day. Thank you for allowing us to come and see them and we hope to have helped in a little way.”
Ward 21 Assistant Play Specialist Jo Plank added: “It’s been really nice for our children – to have the footballers come in, spend time and hand out toys has really made their day.”
Another group spent time with adult inpatients on Wards 9 and 10 where they spoke to elderly patients who had had RAF careers before chatting to patients in the Discharge Lounge who were waiting to go home.
Walsall fan John Heath, aged 78, had spent the last week in hospital and was delighted to see his favourite team – although he did give striker Josh Gordon a slight telling off.
“You need to score some more goals!” he said.
John then felt a bit guilty and admitted Josh is his favourite player before urging the team on to a win against Exeter this weekend.
Georgie Westley, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust fundraising manager, said: “We look forward to our visit from Walsall Football Club every year as the team is really popular among patients and staff.
“As well as the children’s ward, they also visited some of our elderly patients and enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane and having a laugh.”