Players from Newcastle Eagles made a surprise visit to the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

The players came bearing gifts which proved to be very popular with the children on the Ward, spending time at the youngsters bedsides and talking to staff on the Unit.

Eagles player Andy Thomson said, “It’s always an honour to be able to bring a smile to the children that we meet on the Ward and to be able to bring them presents especially at this time of year. I’m always really interested to hear about the work of the staff on the Unit and glad that as a Club we can support their efforts”

Commenting on the visit, CHUF head of fundraising, Chris Gray said, “It can be tough for patients, particularly at this time of year. But the guys from the Eagles are naturals with the patients. CHUF has developed a long lasting relationship with the team and you can tell they genuinely care about the wellbeing of the patients, and warmly appreciative of everything the ward staff achieves. It’s the highlight of the year to have them on the ward at Christmas.”

Sophie Dring, 29, from Whitby whose four year old son, Toby, has been in the Unit since October said “It’s really nice that the players take the time out of their busy schedule to come and visit the children here at the Unit. It’s brought a smile to Toby’s face and to the other children here. The players have talked to the children and were really interested in knowing what treatment they were having and very friendly.”