Pompey stars spread a bit of festive cheer

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CHRISTMAS can be a tough time for children who have to spend it in a hospital bed.

But a group of Pompey’s stars have given up their time to brighten up the lives of sick youngsters who face the possibility of spending the festive season in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, Portsmouth.

UP CLOSE Pompey manager Guy Whittingham, right, and fellow players meet patient Joe Danter at Queen Alexandra Hospital.  From left, Simon Eastwood, Mustafa Dumbaya, Johnny Ertl, and Lubomir Michalik. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (124059-1)
UP CLOSE Pompey manager Guy Whittingham, right, and fellow players meet patient Joe Danter at Queen Alexandra Hospital. From left, Simon Eastwood, Mustafa Dumbaya, Johnny Ertl, and Lubomir Michalik. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124059-1)

The club stopped to chat to youngsters and their parents at children’s wards Starfish and Shipwreck and wished everyone including the staff a happy Christmas. They also visited adult wards.

The goodwill event yesterday was part of Pompey’s on-going commitment to help others in the community.

Jake Hill, 17, of Gosport, said the players’ visit had made his day.

The teenager, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is hospital because he has developed stomach problems.

THRILLED The players with Jack Gillingham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124059-3)
THRILLED The players with Jack Gillingham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124059-3)

‘It’s nice seeing some of the players,’ he said.

‘I like Chelsea Football Club but I’m also a Pompey fan.

‘This has helped to make me feel better.

‘Over Christmas I will look back on this day and it will make me smile.

‘It’s nice that the players took the time to visit people like me. It was really thoughtful of them.’

Jake’s mum Shelley Pattinson, 42, said: ‘It’s been a tough time for the family but everyone is supportive of Jake. We’ll pull through together. It’s been great seeing the club’s stars.’

Joe Danter, 15, of Margaret Close, Waterlooville, has been in hospital with hip problems and hopes to be out and at home by Christmas Day.

Wearing a Pompey polo shirt, Joe said he was delighted to see players from the team he loves.

‘I’ve been having X-rays on my hip and the doctors have told me that I will probably need a hip operation in 10 to 15 years,’ he said.

‘The players obviously have a lot of training to do so it’s nice they’ve given up their time.’

Pompey’s caretaker manager Guy Whittingham said: ‘Visits like this make you appreciate life.

‘The children were so cheerful . It’s nice to know we’ve helped to brighten up their day.

‘The hospital staff are fantastic and do a tremendous job.’

The club’s goalkeeper Simon Eastwood added: ‘ Everyone was so glad that we came along.

‘Hopefully some of the children will be out of hospital in time for Christmas. We just wanted to put a smile on their faces.’

 

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