On 23rd December the Manchester United first team visited hospitals in Manchester to visit poorly children and young people who will be in hospital at Christmas time.
Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Gary Neville, Ben Foster and a host of other players delivered presents and visited a children’s party in the Teenage Chillout room of the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
The Christmas hospital visits have been a Manchester United tradition for the over 20 years, but this is the first year that the team visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, which Manchester United Charity Partner the New Children’s Hospital Appeal raises funds for.
Manchester United’s support for the hospital through it’s charitable Foundation has helped to raise over £80,000 towards providing parental accommodation facilities so that parents can stay close to their child during treatment; a facility which is even more vital over the festive period.
Sir Alex Ferguson visited the hospital when it was being built back on 27th February this year, he said:
“Every year the players head out to hospitals across Manchester to deliver presents to sick children. It is a very humbling experience for the players (some of whom are parents themselves) to see and speak with families who have to cope with a sick child at Christmas time. This year is even more special because the players will get to see some of the amazing facilities as the new children’s hospital and witness first hand some of the things our partnership with the New Children’s Hospital Appeal has raised funds for.”
Manchester United Foundation Charity relationship Manager, Wendy Rennison has looked after the visits for years and knows what a special day it is for the families involved, she said:
“We have been looking after the hospital visits since the days of Robson and Cantona and it is always a very emotional time. Seeing the players and receiving a gift from their heroes gives the families a real boost at a time when they need it the most.”
Jenny Yates Corporate and Indivual Fundraising Manager for the New Children's Hospital Appeal said: "It was a fantastic day for everyone at the hospital and all the children were delighted to meet their heroes. It made our first Christmas at the new site a very special one."