Manchester United players make Christmas dreams come true at children’s hospitals

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

The players visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Francis House Children’s Hospice and The Christie, and were delighted to help raise spirits during the Christmas period.

Harry Maguire joined his teammates for the visits for the first time since joining the club in August this year.

Alongside Luke Shaw, Mason Greenwood, Phil Jones and James Garner, he attended The Christie’s Palatine Treatment Centre, which is home to the teenage and young adult unit and haematology and transplant inpatient unit.

Manchester United players’ Christmas visit to The Christie: Amber Rae, 18, with Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, James Garner, Mason Greenwood and Luke Shaw

Harry said: “This is my first year at Manchester United but it’s a classy club and they always make sure they look after the community and local hospitals at this time of year.

“It’s a nice gesture, to surprise everyone, bring gifts and put smiles on faces – that’s what it is all about.”

Juan Mata and former Oldham Athletic loan player Lee Grant spent time with children at Francis House in Didsbury while the remainder of the first-team squad headed to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Scott McTominay said: “It’s such a humbling experience coming here and seeing the kids with smiles on their faces.

“It’s one of the most important things that we do as players and staff, especially round Christmas time. These are the things we love doing the most and it’s amazing to give back to charities and the hospital.”

Juan Mata said: “I think it is important to give back any time, but now it’s Christmas and obviously it’s a very important time for a lot of us and our families, so we are grateful to be able to help kids that are not able to have as happy a Christmas as we normally have.”

At each site the players gave out a number of United-themed presents including signed shirts, hats and scarves, to the delight of the young patients.

Joe, 19, a patient at The Christie and huge United fan, said: “It was really good fun; they brought some really good gifts and presents and to be honest it’s certainly made my month.

“Having treatment isn’t the most exciting thing in the world so this sort of treat has been a real bonus!”

The annual hospital visits are managed by Manchester United Foundation. Find out more at mufoundation.org

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