Hammers stars spread festive cheer for Richard House and Newham University Hospital
West Ham United’s first team players took a break from their busy festive schedule to spread the Christmas cheer this week.
Michail Antonio, Arthur Masuaku, Diafra Sakho, Toni Martinez and Sam Byram visited the children’s Rainbow Centre at Newham University Hospital to meet youngsters and hand over claret and blue gifts, while manager David Moyes and his players got into the festive spirit as London Stadium played host to special visitors from Richard House Children's Hospice.
Ahead of the Beckton-based charity’s awareness match against Chelsea on Saturday, Moyes, captain Mark Noble, James Collins, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid and Andy Carroll welcomed 25 children, parents and staff to a special Christmas party.
The enthralled youngsters, many of whom are dealing with serious life-limiting medical conditions, wore big smiles on their faces as they enjoyed arts and crafts, messy play and even took on their Hammers heroes at FIFA 18. It continues the Club’s yearly tradition of visiting the hospital just before Christmas begins and the visit, once again, brought smiles to faces of the young children currently under the care of doctors and nurses.
2017 Hammer of the Year Antonio said he and the players were only too pleased to pay a visit to those having to spend time in hospital over Christmas.
"It's very important for us to spread some Christmas cheer," he said. "Being in hospital over Christmas is not nice, so it's important that we can bring a smile or a bit of laughter to their faces
“I'm a father myself and with my first son he was in hospital over Christmas because he was born six weeks early, so I know how the parents are feeling over this time
“Hopefully some of these kids can get out of hospital before Christmas, but for the ones that don't, hopefully the gifts we've brought along can help them through their tough time."
The Hammers are backing Richard House's #OneHour campaign this December, with the hospice calling for people to donate one hour's pay to the charity. Click here for more information.