OWLS stars put smiles on the faces of poorly young patients when they paid a Christmas visit to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The entire Sheffield Wednesday squad accompanied manager Gary Megson and chairman Milan Mandaric on a tour of the wards yesterday.
The footballers handed out goody bags and calendars and chatted to bed-bound youngsters and their parents.
Boss Gary Megson said: “It’s great to come and see the kids. Wednesday has a good association with the hospital that we are really proud of.
“It really puts into context what we are doing.”
Zehn Sarwar, aged 15, from Norfolk Park, was thrilled to meet the players.
The King Edward VII pupil, who has been in and out of hospital repeatedly with a kidney problem, said: “I’m a big Wednesday fan so it was really good to see the players. I will tell all my friends at school about it.”
His mum Romana said: “Zehn was so excited. He has been so ill, for so long, so it was great to have something to look forward to.”
Five-year-old Theo Singheyley also raised a smile when the footballers arrived.
Theo, from Chesterfield, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is blind and deaf, and suffers from epilepsy. He was rushed into hospital 10 weeks ago when his lungs collapsed.
His mum Denise, 45, said: “Three weeks ago Theo was on life support, and it looks like we will be here for Christmas and New Year.
“So it is really nice when the hospital organises something like this, and these guys take the time to come in and see us. Theo is the youngest of six boys and football is a big part of their lives.”
Jason Littlewood, 13, from Dodworth, Barnsley, was thrilled to meet goalkeeper Nicky Weaver and skipper Rob Jones. Jason broke his back in three places when he ran into the path of a car on Monday. His dad Anthony said: “He is very fortunate, and will be able to walk again. The players really cheered him up.”
Goalie Nicky Weaver said: “If we can put a smile on their faces then that is great.As a father myself I can understand it’s really difficult for the parents.”
Chairman Milan Mandaric added: “We are delighted to be able to participate. This is a very prestigious hospital and just walking around the wards you can see why - the dedication of the staff here is unbelievable. Being part of this partnership with the hospital and being able to play a part in the community is something the club is very proud of.”