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Manchester United players deliver Christmas presents to young patients

The Manchester United first team paid a special festive visit to young patients at three local hospitals today to deliver some early Christmas gifts.

| by Katie Newton
The visits, organised annually by Manchester United Foundation, saw the players visit Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Francis House Children’s Hospice and The Christie, and they were delighted to help raise spirits during the Christmas period.

Paul Pogba, Fred, Diogo Dalot and Andreas Pereira visited The Christie’s Palatine Treatment Centre, which is home to the teenage and young adult unit and haematology and transplant inpatient unit, where they surprised patients who are going through a difficult time this festive period.

“Seeing the children happy and just giving a picture or signature, it made my day,” said Pogba. “They are the real stars and they are stronger than anybody.  They keep fighting with their families, and with the help of the people in the hospital they can recover faster."

Nemanja Matic and Phil Jones spent time with children at Francis House in Didsbury, whilst the remainder of the first-team squad headed to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, the largest single-site children's hospital in the UK which provides specialist healthcare services for children and young people throughout the North West. 

Marcus Rashford spoke at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital: “These visits hold great importance and have great value; we get to come here, give out gifts and put smiles on faces and we are always happy to do this.”

Chris Smalling added, “It is so rewarding; you can play football but then you come here and see smiles on faces that’s what really matters.  You see what they are going through and the fact that lots of them are spending Christmas in hospital, but hopefully we can make it a happy time for them.”

At each site the players gave out a number of United-themed presents including home shirts which were personally signed, much to the delight of those facing a Christmas away from home.

Layton, 11, was thrilled to meet two of his favourite players: “I got some presents signed by Rashford and Lingard, which I am buzzing about.”

He concluded, “On a scale of one to one hundred I would say today is one hundred. This is the best day of my life!”