FOOTBALLERS who helped to spread Christmas joy by delivering presents to young patients in hospital returned to their cars to find they had been issued with parking tickets.
Seven Barnsley FC players, including teenage defender Bradley Kilburn, were slapped with the tickets while they visited children at Barnsley Hospital.
After finding the tickets Bradley, aged 18, turned to social network Twitter to tell his ‘followers’: “We have all just got parking tickets outside hospital. Cheers, Barnsley Council.”
Bradley was one of several Red stars, including Jim O’Brien, Luke Steele and Scott Wiseman who turned up on the wards to spread festive cheer among poorly babies, youngsters and their families.
After they left they discovered the tickets taped to their car windscreens.
Barnsley Council today defended the issuing of the tickets.
Councillor Roy Miller, cabinet spokesman for development, environment and culture, said: “The footballers in question had parked in the residents’ parking zone that surrounds the hospital, where a valid permit needs to be displayed. This applies to everyone, regardless of their status or business.”
When asked whether the council might consider donating the fine money to the hospital as a festive gesture, a council spokeswoman said: “There is nothing further to add.”
Other Twitter users later ‘tweeted’ Bradley back, saying although they admired their visit to the hospital it was not an excuse for illegal parking.
User Jo typed: “Taking gifts to the kids is lovely, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to park responsibly or pay the consequences if you don’t.”
Another said the players must pay the fine, adding: “You’re no different to anybody else.”
A spokesman from Barnsley Hospital said: “We are very thankful to all those at Barnsley Football Club for their Christmas visit to the hospital. Parking arrangements were made with the hospital and the football club prior to the visit, and many of the club members parked in the hospital car parks without incident.
“It is unfortunate to hear that during the visit some of the players received tickets for parking illegally on the roads surrounding the hospital.”
A spokesman from Barnsley FC confirmed seven of its players had been issued with fines.
He added: “If they had parked in the hospital car park they wouldn’t have got a fine. They probably didn’t read the signs on the street and weren’t thinking properly.”