Footballers spread some Christmas joy at the weekend as they delivered presents to children receiving treatment at hospital.
The South Shields FC squad were at South Tyneside District Hospital, handing over dozens of gifts which had been donated by fans.
Among the recipients were Ruby Tate, two, and Harry Hatch, aged 11 weeks, after the players visited the children’s accident and emergency department.
Forward Jonny Wightman, from South Shields, was among the players who attended, and he was delighted to ‘give something back’ to the community.
He said: “The club took donations for presents from the public, so we could come down to the hospital and give something back to the community.
“We wanted to give some presents to the kids and make their day, really.
“We had been talking about it all week, and it was nice to get everyone together and do that.
“It’s not ideal to be in hospital just before Christmas. There were so many presents donated, so hopefully it made a few children’s days.”
Northern League Division Two side Shields – who host Morpeth Town at Mariners Park tonight in the FA Vase – are on a 19-match winning streak, and have had three home attendances of over 1,000 this season.
Defender Lewis Galpin, from Hebburn, who is nursing a broken leg at present, added: “Loads of presents were donated for the kids, and it was an incredible response. We just wanted to share the joy at Christmas.
The club took donations for presents from the public, so we could come down to the hospital and give something back to the communityJonny Wightman
“It’s our local hospital, so it was good that we were able to give something back to the community, because they have given so much to us.
“We can’t thank the public enough for all of the presents that were donated. There were five big bags full of presents, so we’re very thankful to those who helped us do this.”
While some presents were handed over on Saturday during the club’s visit, the volume of gifts meant that most were handed over to hospital staff, who will give them to patients over the coming weeks.