Footballers deliver Christmas presents to children in hospital over festive period

Christmas came early for children on Howard Ward at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester when Bognor Regis Town footballers made a special delivery of presents to spread some festive cheer.

Manager Jack Peace, coach Robbie Blake and a group of first team players joined club mascot Rocky Bear to conjure up some yuletide spirit.

Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

Rocks teamed up with Love Your Hospital – Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust’s fundraising arm – for the campaign and former Bognor ace John Price, the charity’s corporate company fundraiser, said he was delighted to welcome the squad.

Love Your Hospital is the dedicated charity for St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Worthing Hospital and Southlands Hospital in Shoreham.

John said: “We’d like to thank Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake and all of the players and visiting party for bringing an array of wonderful gifts to the children. It was a special visit.”

Kerry Brunnen, the ward’s play leader, said it was hard for children and parents to cope with being in hospital at Christmas and that the visit brought a sense of fun to the hospital.

Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

She said: “It was a lovely atmosphere and everyone enjoyed the visit so much. It cheered everyone up, the children and the parents, and we’re grateful to Bognor Regis Town for coming along and handing out the gifts and bringing us some light-hearted moments.”

Ian Guppy, the Rocks supporters’ club chairman who helped organise the visit, said it was touching to see the smiles on the faces of the children.

He said: “The visit has provided some treasured memories – it was so lovely to see how happy the children were even though they were in hospital as Christmas approached.”

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Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester

Bognor Regis Town footballers delivered Christmas presents to children on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester