Poorly children at The James Cook University Hospital were treated to a special Christmas surprise today, when a star-studded team of Middlesbrough Football Club players came to visit.
Local lad Ben Gibson chatted to the young fans alongside teammate Adam Clayton, asking about their recovery and what they’d like for Christmas, before presenting generous gifts and sweets.
There was laughter as one sparky young patient, pictured left, quipped: “a win against Burnley would be nice!”
But in a more touching moment, when Boro boss Aitor Karanka, Gibson and Clayton went to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) a clearly moved Adam Clayton left a young boy his own Santa hat, as well as a bed full of gifts to open on Christmas Day!
Dawn McCabe, nursery nurse on ward 22 at the hospital, said: “It was lovely that they gave so much time to the children during their visit and the presents they brought with them were lovely.
“They even gave the brothers and sisters of the children on the ward a gift as well, which was very nice of them.
“They took their time over chatting to the children and having their pictures taken with them. A lot of genuine young Boro fans who are in hospital at Christmas time now have big smiles on their faces!”
Aitor Karanka also presented ward staff including Cathy Brammer, clinical matron in paediatrics and neonatology with signed shirts too!
Our picture gallery of young patients receiving gifts for the players is below.