Christmas came early for children at Burnley General Hospital who were treated to a visit from their Clarets heroes.
Stars from Burnley Football Club’s first team squad took a break from their high-flying Premier League exploits to visit the children and their families at the hospital’s East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Service department.
They handed out gifts, signed autographs and chatted to the star-struck children and their equally delighted families.
England goalkeeper and Clarets captain Tom Heaton told the Express how he has a personal affinity to Burnley General Hospital, having seen his child born there.
He said: “My little lad was born here so I always enjoy coming back. It’s always a tough time for anyone staying in hospital over Christmas so it’s important to put some smiles on their faces.
“It’s nice to have a chat and bring some festivity.”
The popular stopper was joined on the visit by Wales forward Sam Vokes, England international Jack Cork and Iceland international Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson.
Other players making the visit included Ashley Barnes, Ben Mee, Nick Pope and Chris Woods.
Midfielder Cork said: “It’s nice to help out and put some smiles on faces. It’s not much but hopefully it makes a big difference to the children who are in an unfortunate position at Christmas.
Manager Sean Dyche, meanwhile, joined other players to visit children at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.