Annual visit to give out gifts.
Colchester United manager Joe Dunne and his players made their traditional Christmas visit to the Children’s Unit at Colchester General Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
The players spent around an hour and a half on the unit and were joined by club mascot Eddie the Eagle.
They met the children, signed autographs and donated gifts the players have bought for the unit after a collection by the squad, such as portable DVD players (with help from friends of the club Trades Electrical Direct), DVDs and computer games, which can be used all-year round by youngsters.
They also handed over U’s merchandise for children to take home.
U’s club captain Brian Wilson said: “We were pleased to make a return to the hospital for this Christmas visit.
“As a father myself, I am very aware of how difficult it can be when your child is unwell, so we were pleased to come in and spread some festive cheer to those children on the unit.”
Lynda Pearce, Matron, Children’s Services, said a Christmas visit by the Colchester United players to the Children’s Unit was a long-established and deeply-appreciated tradition.
“It’s never fun for anyone to be in hospital, especially so for children during the Christmas and New Year period and the run-up to it,” she said.
“However, the staff always do their best to make this time of year special for the children and the traditional visit from our home club plays a very important part in that.”
The Children’s Unit consists of a ward, assessment unit, elective care unit and outpatients department, and serves children (0-16) from all over Colchester, Tendring and Halstead and the Colne Valley.