Gallery: Mick McCarthy and Ipswich Town players visit East Anglian Children’s Hospice to give children Christmas gifts

Players from ITFC join manager Mick McCarthy to deliver Christmas gifts to children and families at

Players from ITFC join manager Mick McCarthy to deliver Christmas gifts to children and families at EACH. Christoph Berra with Aaliyah - Credit: Lucy taylor

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and four of his players took a break from training yesterday to take on the role of Santa and his gift-bearing elves at a children’s hospice.

Star players David McGoldrick, Noel Hunt, Christophe Berra, Jonathan Parr and Sean St Ledger joined their manager at the East Anglian Children’s Hospice (EACH) in Ipswich to deliver presents to children and their families.

Mick said: “It’s great at Christmas to come and put smiles on their faces.

“It’s quite humbling to see the parents and the hard work they put in everyday to help their children. Sometimes it’s nice for them to know there are other people caring for them as well.”

The Blues boys spent time decorating cookies and festive baubles with the children at the Treehouse hospice.

Defender Christophe Berra made eight-year-old fan Aaliyah Kidd-Stanton’s day by helping her put the icing on cookies.

Christophe said: “We do this every year and everyone turns up and loves doing it. It gives us a chance to give back to the community and to people who are more in need than us.”

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The East of England Co-operative, which sponsors Ipswich Town and EACH, attended the event to donate an iPad to the hospice which they funded on behalf of the club.

The players will also be visiting children at Ipswich Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital, Colchester Hospital, St Elizabeth Hospice and St Nicholas Hospice during their traditional Christmas rounds.