Hammers stars visit local Hospice

A host of West Ham United stars visited Richard House Children's Hospice this week in order to spread some Christmas cheer to the patients and staff.

Mark Noble is a patron of the Beckton-based Hospice and he was joined by fellow first-team players Adrian, Joey O'Brien, Mohamed Diame and Ricardo Vaz Te in visiting the facility for children and young adults with life-limiting health conditions..

During the visit the players were busy handing out West Ham goodie bags as well as signing autographs and having their picture taken with the children and their parents.

The players also donned Christmas hats as they enjoyed an afternoon of helping the patients to make Christmas decorations to be hung around the Hospice.

Hammers visit Richard House

Ricardo Vaz Te helps the children with creating Christmas decorations

Vaz Te was delighted to be bringing joy to everyone at Richard House. He told West Ham TV: "It was a very good experience to go to Richard House and see the kids' faces.

"I was really happy to be there. It was for a great cause and I wish I could do more - we had been there a short time and one of the kids said 'This is the best Christmas ever!'

"I don't know what to say, it leaves me speechless just to give something and for them to be so happy at us being there."

Joey O'Brien and Mark Noble present Viv Talbot with a donation from the players

Joey O'Brien and Mark Noble present a donation from the players

Those sentiments were echoed by Irish international O'Brien, although he admitted his decorating skills needed some work!

He explained: "I've been with the kids, doing a bit of drawing and decorating, things I wouldn't normally do. I was doing my best to keep the colouring between the lines really, but it's a special place and great to be able to spend a bit of time with the kids, their families and the staff around them.

"We just play football, and it's one of the great things about playing football that we can put smiles on the kids' faces. It's special being able to do that."

The Hammers players have made a personal donation to the Richard House Children's Hospice, and Noble and O'Brien concluded the visit by presenting the centre's Community Fundraising Manager Viv Talbot with a cheque.