BARNSLEY manager Keith Hill, his players and coaching staff made a visit to Barnsley Hospital to spread Christmas cheer to the Children’s Ward.
The Championship club have strong links with the hospital and this year, thanks to a whip round from all the players, children were showered with gifts from some of their heroes.
Goalkeeper Luke Steele helped organised the trip having had a chat with boss Hill about what the club could do for the children. The money that was raised helped buy a new giant plasma TV for all the kids to watch in the ward, while the players also gave portable DVD gifts.
“In previous years we’ve taken gifts from the club shop and the club, but this year the manager sat me down and said what would the kids really benefit from,” Steele said.
“We did a bit of research and the nurses told us that the kids needed a TV so they all sit together and watch programmes over Christmas.
“And we also got a lot of portable DVD players as well because some children are bed-ridden, so that gives them the chance to watch films while they’re in bed.
“It was a great afternoon. It’s very humbling to go to the hospital and to speak to these sick children and their parents.
“I’ve not got kids but it must be a very worrying time if you’re a parent and your child is in hospital over Christmas.
“It was good we got presents this year that the whole ward can use, all the kids can benefit from a new TV and DVD players.”
And former Manchester United shot-stopper Steele is only too aware how he leads a privileged life, along with his fellow teammates.
“Going to the hospital does put things into perspective,” admitted Steele. “Football is just football at the end of the day, but family and your health means everything. You could tell the players who have children were touched by seeing the kids, it shows you how important children are in people’s lives.”