Wrexham AFC’s first-team stars were pleased to take the opportunity to visit Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s children’s ward to speak to the young patients and deliver Christmas presents.
Captain Shaun Pearson and the players all chipped in to buy presents, before meeting those on the ward, and staying to play games and pose for photographs on Wednesday afternoon (December 12).
Jointly organised by the Club Media Team and the Racecourse Community Foundation, the skipper shared the players’ belief in giving back to the community.
“It’s important because ultimately we represent this community and it’s nice for us to be able to come at a difficult time – at this time of year, an especially difficult time – for young children to be in hospital, and hopefully put a smile on their faces," he said.
On chipping in for presents, he added: “We just thought it was important to be able to give a little something back and, as I’ve said, hopefully we’ve put a few smiles on the young children’s faces and that’s a blessing at this time of year.”
Among those to meet the players were eight-year-old Katie Roberts, who plays football for her school team in Corwen, and her parents.
Katie chatted with her new favourite Wrexham player Bobby Grant, and the family said: “She’s just said now, she feels a whole lot better and I think that’s definitely to do with the football lads.”
Oscar Tom Williams, 14, meanwhile, challenged Rob Lainton to a game of Top Trumps – and beat the Wrexham keeper.
“I’ve never got to meet a football team before and it was a surprise to see how they are just nice, normal people,” Oscar said.
“They didn’t have to come, and it was really good of them [to spend time with us].”
Wrexham Maelor children’s ward’s Emma Cunnah, who co-ordinated the visit on behalf of the hospital, said such visits do make a big difference to patients on the ward.
“From the pictures you will see the smiles on the faces and the difference it makes, and it’s great that the children have something to talk about,” she said.
“They miss out on school time, so it’s nice that they’ve got something to take back and talk to their friends about.
“It’s just great to have that link with the community and the football team, and it means a lot to the staff as well that they can do something for the children that are in at Christmas.”