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Blades spread festive cheer across the city

17 December 2019

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The Blades have been bringing the festive spirit to local hospitals, hospices and centres for children, including young people living with disabilities.

The first-team squad, the U23s and players from the women's first-team, as well as the football management and club staff, brought Christmas cheer to the Sheffield Children's Hospital, Weston Park Hospital, Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, St Luke's Hospice, Cavendish Cancer Care, the Becton Centre and Paces (at High Green) where they delivered a variety of gifts and spent time chatting with patients, families, staff and volunteers.

The players and staff split into small groups at each venue so as they were able to spend more time chatting with patients and their families and gained an insight not only into what each organisation delivers, but also gain some appreciation of what those who may be in hospital over Christmas face.

Boss Chris Wilder was at Weston Park, where he was joined by chairman Prince Musa'ad and chief executive Stephen Bettis as the group visited a number of different areas of the hospital, including the Teenage Cancer Unit, Radiotherapy and the Day Care Unit.

A group visited the Cavendish Care therapy centre, meeting children and their families who use the service on a regular basis. For the first time, a number of players visited the Becton Centre in Beighton, who treat children and young people with a range of difficulties that are seriously impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

At Paces, the nominated charity of the Sheffield United Academy, after receiving specially selected gifts from the Blades players and staff, the pupils sang three songs for their visitors, who included Chris Basham, John Lundstram and Jack O'Connell. O'Connell was also presented with a special trophy to mark his recent 150th start for the Blades by Paces pupil Lillie Mansell.

Dave McCarthy, United's operations director said: "This is a special day in the calendar that players, management and staff look forward to each year.

"To be able to visit these places on the same day and spread a little happiness to patients, their families, volunteers and staff means a great deal to everyone at the club."

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