Players help spread festive cheer

by Stuart Vose

Squad bear gifts for local kids.

Sunderland players swapped football boots for Santa suits when they visited patients at Sunderland Royal Hospital to give presents across the childrens’ wards.

Black Cats stars met with children from across Wearside to give festive cheers around the wards at the city’s hospital as well as pose for photographs, sign pictures and talk football.

The young Sunderland supporters received goody bags including Samson and Delilah teddies, SAFC annuals, match tickets, calendars and a selection of other gifts.

Speaking after the event, defender John O’Shea said: “It’s always great to see the kids smiling at this time of year.

“All of the lads who visited the hospital were over the moon to meet so many young supporters and have the opportunity to visit them and wish them all the best for Christmas.”

Sunderland’s squad visit hospitals over the festive period handing out gifts, meeting young supporters at Sunderland Royal Hospital, South Tyneside Hospital, Durham University Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary.