Sunderland stars’ Christmas cheer for sick children

Craig Gardner, Simon Mignolet and Adam Johnson visit Lakita McQuillan in the Sunderland Royal's children's ward.

Craig Gardner, Simon Mignolet and Adam Johnson visit Lakita McQuillan in the Sunderland Royal's children's ward.

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FOOTBALL heroes turned Father Christmas for the day to bring smiles to the faces of poorly Wearside children.

SAFC players donned Santa hats to visit patients at Sunderland Royal Hospital to give presents across the children’s wards.

Sunderland footballers deliver Christmas present to the Children's Ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Sunderland footballers deliver Christmas present to the Children's Ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital

Black Cats stars, including Craig Gardner, Fraizer Campbell, Adam Johnson, Jack Colback and John O’Shea, met children from across Wearside to give festive cheer around the wards at the city’s hospital as well as pose for photographs, sign pictures and talk football.

The young Sunderland AFC supporters received goody bags including Samson and Delilah teddies, SAFC annuals, match tickets, calendars and a selection of other gifts.

Irish defender John O’Shea said: “It’s always great to see the kids smiling at this time of year.

“All of the lads who visited the hospital were over the moon to meet so many young supporters and have the opportunity to visit them and wish them all the best for Christmas.”

Sunderland AFC’s squad visits hospitals over the festive period handing out gifts, meeting young supporters at Sunderland Royal, South Tyneside Hospital, Durham University Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Twitter: @Sunechokaty