The squad split into two and headed to The Christie and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital armed with hundreds of United goodies, which had been wrapped by the club’s youth players and staff at the Aon Training Complex.
Patients at both hospitals were delighted to meet their heroes who were more than happy to help raise the spirits of those not so fortunate during the Christmas period.
"We wanted to do what we could to help the children feel a bit better – no one wants to be in hospital at Christmas," said Darren Fletcher, who met youngsters at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. "It's a great honour for us to be able to come and visit them and bring them some presents."
11-year-old patient, Edward Elder from Prestbury was delighted to meet Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj: “I’ve always wanted to meet Fellaini, or just anyone of the United team, I see them as idols. I felt really happy when I saw them walk in the door, I’ve got some signatures and I can’t wait to show my friends.” He added, “It definitely trumps City’s visit from yesterday, I’m a United fan so I wasn’t too impressed! I’m much happier to see the United players!”
Patrice Evra joined Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Shinji Kagawa and Alex Buttner at the Young Oncology Unit at The Christie. The defender’s goal against Stoke City earned him plenty of compliments as he made his way through the busy ward. Patrice, however, insisted all the praise belonged to the brave teenagers he had met:
“Coming here today makes you realise that sometimes you complain about small things and then you meet the patients here and they’re having a really bad time. It makes you appreciate where you are, because I think a lot of kids dream to be in my place. That’s why every day I thank God for what I’m doing and of course, lots of people watched my goal and have talked to me about it, but the important thing is not my goal it’s the happiness I can give them.”
After the players’ visit Christie Community Liaison Nurse Kate Law reflected, “The news we give patients every day of the week can turn lives upside down and today the news that the players were coming put a smile on their faces.” She added, “I think it’s awesome to see the patients’ faces, it helps them through treatment that is difficult and hard going – no one else can achieve what the United players have done today.”
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