Gallery: Town stars bring Christmas spirit to patients

It was a true blue Christmas for dozens of hospital and hospice patients yesterday as they received a visit from some top Town stars.

IPSWICH: It was a true blue Christmas for dozens of hospital and hospice patients yesterday as they received a visit from some top Town stars.

Many of the club's big names including Alex Bruce, Richard Wright, Stern john and Carlos Edwards visited St Elizabeth Hospice and Ipswich Hospital yesterday to help spread some festive cheer.

Other players who turned out to spend time with sick children and hospice day patients were Gareth McCauley, Liam Rosenior, Damien Delaney and Luciano Civelli.

Another group were at St Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds while more will be hitting the wards across the region on Thursday.

The quartet that visited St Elizabeth arrived as day patients were enjoying a Christmas party and they spent time handing out gifts, signing autographs and posing for photos.

Hospice spokeswoman Sarah Cawley said the players' arrival had helped let patients know that others were thinking of them in the build up to Christmas.

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Patient Rachel Forster, 60, said: “It's nice to see them in the flesh - they're nice looking boys as well. It's not easy walking into a place like this for the first time. They don't have to do things like this.”

After meeting sick children at Ipswich Hospital's Children's Ward, Alex Bruce said it was important for the players to give something back to the community.

He said: “The last place they (parents) want to see their children over Christmas in is hospital - but that's the way of the world.

“The aim is to come down here and put smiles on some of the kids' faces, and if you achieve that it's worth coming.”

Children's Ward Staff Nurse Lindsey Walker said that every year the players' visit brightened up the lives of patients, doctors and nurses and this year was no different.

She said: “It's lovely because everyone has been looking forward to it. Even for the little babies, it makes their parents smile.

“It's not nice to be here on Christmas and it's nice to have them (the players) brighten our day.”

Kevin Williams, 36, and Angela Brown, 34, spent time with the players as they visited their six month old daughter Sophie, who has leukaemia.

Mr Williams said: “It's a nice touch for them to come and visit local hospitals at this time of the year. It just reflects the community side of the club.”

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