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West Ham United stars brought joy to young hospitak patients.

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The players spent time delighted young patients, their relatives and staff at Newham University Hospital NHS Trust when they visited armed full of Christmas gifts.

Twelve of the first team players turned Santa for the afternoon and brightened up the day for the sick children when they gave up their time to make the special festive trip recently. The team gave out giant goodie bags to each patient in Rainbow Ward for children. The bags were filled with West Ham gifts including soft toys, a football, bag and an annual.

The players also presented four large flat screen televisions, paid for by the stars, to the ward.

The squad chatted to the young patients, their relatives, and staff and posed for photos and signed autographs. Dr Mike Gill, Medical Director at the Trust, greeted the players and accompanied them on their visit.

Sophia Touzani, Ward Manager, said: “We were absolutely delighted and overwhelmed with the visit and the huge generosity and support of the players and the club for donating so many wonderful gifts and their time. Christmas really did come early for Rainbow Ward!

“Our young patients loved meeting the players, as did our staff. We feel honoured and privileged to have been chosen for this visit. The large televisions will make such a difference to so many children who are patients here both now and for many years in the future.”

Matthew Upson, West Ham United Captain, said: “We were only too happy to come and visit the youngsters here at Newham Hospital and we hope that we gave them some Christmas cheer as they go through what must be a very difficult time for them and their families. It was also great to meet all the staff who work around the clock to care for the children. We hope that they enjoyed the visit as much as we did.”

340 words with pix

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