SAFC stars swapped their red and white shirts for Christmas jumpers as they brought some festive cheer to poorly youngsters with a trio of hospital visits.
The Black Cats first-team squad met with children at Sunderland Royal Hospital, Durham University Hospital and the Great North Children’s Hospital (RVI) in Newcastle, which has been treating Bradley Lowery, to hand out presents and spread some merriment around the wards.
Special goody bags containing Sunderland gifts, selection boxes and match tickets brought a smile to the faces of youngsters faced with spending the festive period in hospital as the players signed autographs and posed for photos with the children and their families.
Speaking after the events, club captain John O’Shea said: “It’s a very difficult time of the year for young people to be in hospital. Visiting the wards and spending time with the kids and their families is always something the players enjoy and hopefully we have helped to lift their spirits a little.”
Jermain Defoe added: “The hospital staff do such an amazing job so it’s great to be able to thank them for all their work, as well as meeting the youngsters and their parents.”