Visiting Ashgate Hospicecare put life and football firmly in perspective this week for Chesterfield FC’s Liam O’Neil.
The midfielder was part of a group of players who visited patients and staff at North Derbyshire’s hospice.
O’Neil admits it was one of those occasions that makes him grateful for what he has.
“It definitely puts life into perspective, how lucky we are to do what we do and live the life we do really,” he said.
“It was really enjoyable and something all the lads are really happy to do, because giving back is important.
“You could say there’s more to life than just football and that was proven when we did these visits.”
Some of the Town players joined in with the ballroom dancing activity going on at the hospice during their visit, and their presence was greatly appreciated.
A spokesperson for Ashgate Hospicecare said: “We were delighted to have had a visit from Chesterfield Football Club.
“Our patients, staff and volunteers really enjoyed speaking with the team and we had some time to pose for photographs.
“We also had ballroom dancing as an activity in our day hospice that afternoon and it was great to see some of the team get involved with that, too.”
Another group of players and staff visited children and families at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
The Spireites players paid for youngsters to have a cuddly Chester the Field Mouse toy, with the ‘real life’ mascot also making an appearance.
Jenny Reaney, play team leader at the hospital, said: “The players come down every year and it’s always a thrill for the youngsters.
“Even those who don’t really follow football have a great time talking to them and, of course, seeing Chester the Field Mouse!
“We do our best to give the children something special in the run up to Christmas.
“You never choose to be in hospital, but for younger patients they’d rather be at home or with their friends, joining in with the festivities, so to be at the centre of a special visit such as this one is a real tonic.”