Liverpool FC bring Christmas cheer, chocolate and gifts to Alder Hey
Two special trips from Liverpool FC to Alder Hey this week brought a festive atmosphere to the hospital as both the first team and Academy squads visited wards, patients and families to hand out gifts and pose for photographs.
After Wednesday’s training session, and accompanied by manager Brendan Rodgers and mascot Mighty Red, the squad toured the hospital in groups, giving out LFC presents, signed photographs and stopping to chat to young patients and parents.
Afterwards, Reds manager Rodgers reflected: “It’s always a very humbling experience for me coming to the hospital and seeing the people here.
“If we can give them some sort of joy while we’re here, that’s the purpose. It’s mixed emotions when you come and see the kids. It gives you a sense of perspective. It’s the real world.
“The idea is to come here and give them some joy and a little bit of hope and encouragement really, because it’s never easy.”
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who was recently named a founding partner of Alder Hey’s Children’s Charity after his foundation donated £500,000 to Alder Hey’s £30m fundraising appeal, said: “It’s been the same as most years – very emotional.
“But it’s fantastic to be here. It’s not just about putting smiles on the children’s faces but helping the parents too, because they are having a bad time. It’s a difficult time of the year for them coming towards Christmas.”
Luis Suarez, who earlier this year became a father for the second time, said: “We know it is a difficult time, not only for the children but for their families.
“Maybe they can smile when we come in here and they can take a present and take a photo. Hopefully it’s a good moment.
“When you have children, it’s different. And when you come in here and you see the children who have problems and are sick, it is difficult for the heart.
“I try my best on the football pitch, but also off the pitch, I try my best to help the children and their families.”
On Thursday, the Academy squad, who are regular visitors to Alder Hey also arrived to spend time handing out selection boxes to children and families on the wards. Players Ryan McLauchlan and Daniel Trickett-Smith dressed as Santa as the European Cup from Liverpool’s 2005 triumph in Istanbul also made its way around the hospital.