The Reds split into two groups and headed to each hospital armed with hundreds of United goody bags, which had been wrapped by the club’s youth players and staff at the Aon Training Complex.
The visits are organised annually by Manchester United Foundation and patients at both hospitals were delighted to meet their footballing heroes who were more than happy to help raise spirits during the Christmas period.
Juan Mata visited the children’s hospital for the first time since signing for Manchester United earlier this year and was touched by the impact the visits can have on the young players:
“I think it’s very nice for us to come here and try to make the children happy; they are not having a great moment right now but I hope we can put a smile on their faces at least for a bit. All the people that work here are unbelievable; they are helping the children to get through this hard time and that it something that I will always respect.”
Wayne Rooney joined team mates Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Radamel Falcao in the Haematology and Transplant Unit at The Christie’s Palatine Treatment Centre, surprising patients who are going through a difficult time this festive period.
“As a person and a parent I feel it’s important that I try and bring a bit of joy at Christmas time,” said Wayne. “We’ve seen how happy it makes the patients when we visit them; it’s about trying to give them a lift over a period that can be difficult, not just for the patients but for the families themselves.”
United fan Adam Lovell, 23, managed to attend the match against Liverpool on Sunday before embarking on a two week course of treatment at the cancer centre. He said, “I talked to James Wilson about the game and how envious I am of him starting against Liverpool at such a young age; it’s something I would have wanted to do. I start two weeks of treatment today so this was a great experience to meet and have a chat with James and the rest of the players.”
United striker, James Wilson, added "It was great to meet everyone and bring them some presents; it was a brilliant experience for me. This is the first time I’ve done a hospital visit as part of the Manchester United squad and hopefully I can come every year and bring a smile to the patients at the Christie. It was nice to talk about the Liverpool game but I really enjoyed just have a normal conversation with everyone, that people are free to just come up to me and talk to me.”