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Blades boost for charities after Club's festive visits

16 December 2015

Sheffield United helped spread festive cheer as players, staff, sponsors and officials took part in the Club's annual community visits day.

At Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, in North Anston near Rotherham, United stars Chris Basham, Bob Harris, Paul Coutts, Conor Sammon, George Long, Dean Hammond, Che Adams, Florent Cuvelier, Harrison McGahey, Connor Dimaio and Diego De Girolamo, as well as coach Darren Ward, delivered gifts and spoke at length with patients, families and staff at the hospice before officially opening the new 'Messy Room' at the centre.

Sheffield Children's Hospital saw a special visit from Billy Sharp, Neill Collins, Martyn Woolford, James Wallace and Jose Baxter taking over from Santa Claus to tour the wards, deliver presents to kids and chat to children and young people staying in the hospital.

Mark Howard, Kieron Freeman, Kieran Wallace, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, John Brayford, Stefan Scougall, Ryan Flynn, Louis Reed and under-21 stars Ioan Evans and Jamie McDonagh, as well as manager Nigel Adkins, assistant manager Andy Crosby and Blades Vice President Graham Moore visited Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity to be taken to meet patients, chatting and handing out Blades gifts.

Club captain Jay McEveley, accompanied by David Edgar, Matt Done and under-21s players Julian Banton (captain) and Joel Coustrain, joined first team coach Dean Wilkins and Club legends Tony Currie and Ted Hemsley in visiting St Luke's Hospice.

Jay McEveley said: "It's fantastic to be able to give something back to the community which as a club, we're committed to serving.

"All the places that the lads visited today - Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, St Luke's Hospice and Sheffield Children's Hospital - are truly incredible places and the work that everyone does there is admirable.

"Visits to charities and hospices like we ours today put things into context, and we're more than happy to show our support for such amazing places and such amazing people."

Claire Rintoul, Chief Executive of Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, said: "We're always extremely grateful for Sheffield United's support. We care for and support children with shortened life expectancy and their families, both at home and here at our hospice.

"Visits such as this one provide love and laughter, two things which are at the very heart of what we do as a hospice. We'd like to thank Sheffield United for visiting us."

Sarah Cross, a fundraiser at Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, said: "The visit was a tremendous success, the players and Nigel were great with the patients and staff.

"I'd like to thank Sheffield United for their continued support, which makes a massive difference to our charity and the work we continue to do for cancer patients across the region."

Weston Park Hospital is one of only a handful of specialist cancer hospitals in England and treats patients from all over South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire - a population of almost 1.8million people.

Dave McCarthy, Operations Director at Sheffield United, said: "We're always delighted to lend our hands to support our nominated charities, and the four we have visited today do exceptional work.

"As a football club, it means a lot for us to give something back to our local community and help charities which support thousands of families, every year."

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