PATIENTS at Queen Alexandra Hospital were all smiles after getting a surprise visit from the Pompey squad.
Players from the club visited the paediatric and older persons’ wards yesterday to give out presents, pose for pictures and sign autographs.
Children at the Cosham hospital were excited to see the players, with one overawed young patient reduced to tears.
Aidan Rodgers, 12, was in hospital after breaking his arm. His injury meant he had missed out on a bowling evening and laser quest event.
He said: ‘Every cloud has some sort of silver lining and this was it for me. It was good to see them. They were friendly.’
Mum Catherine Fennell, from Fareham, added: ‘It has been a really good day for him.
I was shocked that they came here to the hospital and took the time out of their day to say hello.Laurie Windebank
‘He was really gutted when he broke his arm that he would miss the laser quest and bowling, so this has really cheered him up.’
Christy Ford, from Stamshaw, was at the hospital with daughter Kyla O’Farrell, who had to undergo an operation. The seven-year-old was given two Teddy bears and two sets of headphones by the players.
She said: ‘It was good seeing them. I liked the presents they gave me.’
The squad split into two groups while visiting the wards, accompanied by team coaches and manager Paul Cook.
Lifelong Pompey fan Laurie Windebank, from Eastney, was excited to meet the players. The 61-year-old has been in hospital for four weeks.
He said: ‘It was really great seeing the players. It made me feel special.
‘I was shocked that they came here to the hospital and took the time out of their day to say hello.
‘I follow Pompey on the radio and read the Sports Mail, so I am a big fan.’
Patient Leah Elliott, 28, and her family are also big Pompey fans. She said her nephew Elliott would have loved to see them.
‘Our whole family love and support the club so it was wonderful to meet the players,’ she said.
Striker Matt Tubbs said: ‘It is brilliant to see the patients but it is heart-breaking as well.
‘For us to come here and put a smile on their faces is brilliant.’
Fellow striker Jayden Stockley added: ‘If we can cheer them up and brighten their day, it makes all the difference.’