Town stars back Star's Christmas appeal

FOOTBALL stars Jim Magilton and Richard Naylor today pledged their support to The Evening Star's Christmas appeal.The Town players visited the children's wards at Ipswich Hospital to give their backing to the Star's Let Them Play campaign.

FOOTBALL stars Jim Magilton and Richard Naylor today backed The Evening Star's Christmas appeal by becoming its patrons.

The Town players visited the children's wards at Ipswich Hospital to give their support to the Star's Let Them Play campaign.

The Star aims to raise £30,000 over the festive season to resurface the outdoor play area at the hospital's children wards, improving the quality of life of hundreds of sick children.

Naylor and Magilton have both spent time at the hospital with their own children and have today agreed to become patrons of the appeal.

Naylor, Blue's longest-serving player, said: “The children's wards are very close to mine and Jim's hearts.

“My eldest girl, Jessica, spent time at the hospital. She was born with a heart defect, she's four and she is good now but they helped her a lot and the staff were fantastic.

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“We still have to come back for check-ups.”

Veteran midfielder, Jim Magilton, has also spent time at the hospital with his nine-year-old son Adam.

He said: “We have spent a lot of time here and this is about giving something back and I am more than happy to do it.

“My little boy was in here and spent a lot of time here. He is still in here occasionally but he is getting better.

“He used the outdoor play area when he was here and was pretty active.”

The current service on the play area is becoming cracked and worn with age and will eventually be too dangerous to play on.

It is not funded by the NHS and remains an invaluable area for many of the youngsters who pass through the ward year after year.

For some, it is their only vision of the outside world during sometimes lengthy stays in hospital.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover thanked the players for adding their support to the appeal.

He said: “It is fantastic that Jim Magilton and Richard Naylor have agreed to be patrons for the campaign.

“Their visit to the hospital has already put smiles on the faces of dozens of children and the appeal will help hundreds more.

“We hope their star quality will help raise hundreds of additional pounds for this worthy and heart warming cause.”

N Anyone wishing to make a donation to the appeal should send cheques payable to Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust Let Them Play and sent to: The Directorate of Child Health, Ipswich Hospital, Heath Road, Ipswich IP4 5PD.

N If you are organising a fundraiser for the Let Them Play appeal then telephone The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788.

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