Derby County’s players made their annual Christmas visit to the Children’s Hospital at the Royal Derby Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Craig Forsyth, Graeme Shinnie, Jason Knight, Ben Hamer, Chris Martin, Duane Holmes, Max Lowe, Curtis Davies, Scott Malone, Martyn Waghorn and Wayne Rooney were all in attendance, as well as members of the Derby County Ladies squad.
Club Mascot Rammie was also made the trip to help spread some festive cheer.
The players joined in with the youngsters, and their parents, to help make Christmas Cards over the course of the afternoon and also handed out gifts across the Teen Pride Suite and Puffin Ward.
Skipper Davies explained: “These trips are always special. We know we’re not going to make the children’s Christmas by being here, but we hope by coming down for the afternoon, with some presents, we can provide a bit of fun and take their minds off their treatment.”
Midfielder Shinnie said: “I’ve got two little girls and for one of them it will be their first Christmas so it’s pretty chaotic at home and being here puts everything into perspective. It’s an eye-opener, that is for sure.”
Striker Martin, who has scored four goals so far this season, added: “Christmas is a family time, so obviously it’s not nice for anyone having to spend the festive period in Hospital.
“We hope by coming down today we can put some smiles on faces.”
Former England striker Rooney, who will be eligible as a Derby player from January onwards, said: “I think it’s very important for us to come down and try to put smiles not only on the children’s faces and also the parents’ too.
“Christmas is a special moment and sometimes giving that little lift can help people.”
Derby County would like to thank, as ever, the staff at the Royal Derby Hospital for their help in arranging the annual visit.