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Footballers do their bit for festive cheer

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Football stars from Spurs, Everton and other teams up and down the country have been taking time out to visit children’s wards in the run up to Christmas.

Gareth Bale and Jonathan Woodgate from premiership side Tottenham Hotspur met parents and children at Whipps Cross University Hospital, as part of the club’s annual visit to the hospital.

Whipps Cross head of nursing Eileen Elms said:  “We are extremely grateful to Spurs for this annual visit – they are always very co-operative, spend genuine time talking to the children and parents on the ward and really do make a difference to the environment over the Christmas period, which is a difficult time for anyone to be in hospital.

“The club is very generous with their gifts and make sure all the children get the right present – for this we would like to thank them.”

Speaking on his visit to the hospital, midfielder Gareth Bale said:  “It’s always an emotional time. We come to see the kids and it’s nice to pay a visit. It’s nice to be able to give something back, especially around Christmas time.”

Meanwhile members of the Everton team , including captain Phil Neville, Tim Cahill, Steven Pienaar, goalkeeper Tim Howard and manager David Moyes, gave out presents and played with young patients at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Oxford United’s full first team squad, which plays in League Two, spent a morning at the Oxford Children’s hospital last Monday.

Patients at Leicester Children’s Hospital will get the chance to meet players from championship side Leicester City today.

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