First team players and staff meet patients ahead of ChristmasIn the lead up to Christmas day Reading Football Club visited the Royal Berkshire Hospital to meet the patients, hand out presents and spread some festive cheer.
Twenty of the first team players and staff made the short trip to Royal Berks to mix with the patients, many of whom were children that will be in Hospital over Christmas.
The players, manager and staff visited the Discharge ward before moving on to visit the children in the Dolphin, Lion and A&E wards.
The team spent almost two hours meeting the children and their families, posing for photos and signing autographs. The Royals arrived laden with gifts to hand out which all were very well received by the youngsters, who seemed thrilled to meet their Reading heroes and chat with them.
Speaking during the visit Reading and Northern Ireland international midfielder Oliver Norwood underlined the importance of giving something back to the community and spending time with those at the Hospital over Christmas.
“It’s nice to come along to these things and put a smile on young Children’s faces just before Christmas, and the parents as well to cheer people up.”
“Everybody enjoys these visits, it is quite upsetting for patients having to be in Hospital over Christmas, so if we can come for an hour or two, then the boys are more than willing to do it and putting a smile on the their faces is something that we all want to do.”
“Sometimes as footballers you don’t realise the effect that you have on people and if we can brighten their day before Father Christmas comes and visits them then that’s something we want to try and do.”
Reading Football Club would like to thank Stewarts Coaches for providing free transport to and from the Hospital and to the Royals players for their donation towards the purchase of the gifts. The club would also like to thank Smyths Toy store for providing the gifts and in particular Jeremy Snapes for his generous donation.