HEREFORD United’s squad played Santa Claus to bring some festive cheer to the youngsters in Hereford County Hospital.

Nine Hereford United football players and Edgar the Bull, the team’s mascot, delivered Christmas gifts to the children.

The welcome visitors took time out from training for their annual visit to deliver presents, spend time with the children and donate money towards a new sensory room for youngsters to use.

Kyle Perry, Brian Smikle, James McQuilkin, Andy Gallinagh, Stefan Stam, Michael Townsend, Will Evans, Marley Watkins, and Phil Marsh chatted with the young patients, with Edgar the Bull bringing a smile to everyone’s faces.

“I was really excited to meet the players and get a Christmas present,” said 14-year-old patient Ed Hardy from Herefordshire.

Jamie Edwards, Hereford United Community Trust Manager, who organised the visits, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Christmas to the children’s ward and our players enjoy being able to spend time chatting to the patients and helping to spread some Christmas cheer.”

Stacy Edwards, play specialist at Wye Valley NHS Trust, added: “We are extremely grateful to Hereford United for visiting us every year, generously donating their time and presents to help the children enjoy Christmas whilst in hospital. “The children are always excited to meet the players and Edgar the Bull and it’s a special surprise to them on the day which helps to aid their recovery.

“We wish to also thank Hereford United for their kind donations towards our new sensory room, which, once completed, will provide all babies and children on the ward with a calming environment, using soothing sounds, soft lighting, furnishings and activities to aid their recuperation.”

l HEREFORD Rugby Club players have also been doing their bit to spread some festive cheer.

A number of players led by skipper Jamie Bullock visited the children’s ward at Hereford County Hospital to distribute gifts to children receiving care and treatment on the ward.