Picture gallery from Clarets' Burnley General Hospital Christmas visit

Clarets stars brought early Christmas presents and plenty of smiles to children when they visited Burnley General Hospital.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 3:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 3:08 pm
Tom Heaton and Ashley Barnes with a young fan

Half of the first team squad visited the hospital to chat to children and their parents as part of the club’s annual Christmas visit.

Manager Sean Dyche and the remainder of the squad visited the children’s ward at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

But there were plenty of familiar faces at Burnley General including the Clarets’ England goalkeepers Joe Hart and Tom Heaton.

Clarets keeper Joe Hart with a fan

Striker Ashley Barnes was another hit with the young fans, as was tricky Republic of Ireland international winger Robbie Brady.

He was joined by international team-mates Jeff Hendrick and Stephen Ward, as well as defenders Phil Bardsley, Charlie Taylor and Ben Gibson. Midfielder Ashley Westwood was also present.

Speaking to the Express, Joe Hart said: “We want to try and spread as much joy and festive spirit as we possibly can.

“Definitely, a different visit for me than the last few years with children coming into my life. Any way you can hopefully put a smile on someone’s face is a good thing to do.

Players and staff

“When you put a smile on someone’s face simply by being there is a special part of the job.”

Ashley Barnes said it was about giving something back to the community and said it meant a lot to everyone to put a smile back on faces.

Full-back Phil Bardsley said: “It’s a difficult time of the year for family and friends when children are in hospital.

“We want to try and cheer them up. It’s part of what the club’s all about, they’re big on the community. We appreciate the support we get off the fans and the people.

The Clarets players, hospital staff and children

“It’s special on days like this coming into the hospital and seeing the kids, it’s a great afternoon.”