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Players bring Christmas cheer to local hospitals

The players were out and about handing out presents on Childrens' Wards at hospitals in the local community on Wednesday.

As is our annual tradition, gifts were delivered to four hospitals - Chase Farm in Enfield, North Middlesex University Hospital, Tottenham, Whipps Cross in Leytonstone and Princess Alexandra in Harlow.

The lads at North Middlesex

Steven Caulker, William Gallas, Jake Livermore, Scott Parker and goalkeeping coach Tony Parks visited Kingfisher Ward at Chase Farm.

Carlo Cudicini, Mousa Dembele, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jan Vertonghen and Assistant Head Coach Steffen Freund met children on Rainbow Ward at North Middlesex.

Acorn Ward at Whipps Cross was the destination for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Clint Dempsey, Hugo Lloris and Kyle Walker, with fitness coach Jose Mario Rocha.

Meanwhile, Michael Dawson, Brad Friedel, Kyle Naughton, Andros Townsend and coach Luis Martins paid a visit to Dolphin Ward at Prince Alexandra.

As always, the lads were overwhelmed by the reception they received at each hospital from patients and staff and were delighted to put a few smiles on young faces at what can be a tough time of year for families with children in hospital.

Michael Dawson at Princess Alexandra, Harlow

"It’s something the players always look forward to," said Brad. "As anyone who has children will know, you can have the worst day at work but you get home and see the kids smiling then everything is better. It’s the same here, you see the kids smile and it makes life that much clearer.

"Thankfully at Harlow, it looks like the kids we met will get home for Christmas, so fingers crossed, and if we can put a few smiles on faces in the meantime it’s always a nice gesture."

Michael added: "The Club takes part in a lot of activities throughout the year and this is one we all enjoy. It's all about the kids - unfortunately, they are in hospital at this time of year but hopefully we help put a smile on their faces."

Steven with Jake at Chase Farm, Enfield

Steven Caulker said: "Christmas is an important time of year for us to come down, spend some time with the kids, hand out some presents, and hopefully give them as good a Christmas as possible. I’ve done Christmas hospital visits at Swansea, Bristol City and Yeovil, but this is my first one with Spurs and hopefully the kids enjoyed it as much as we did."

Jan said: "Nobody wants to be in hospital at any time, particularly at Christmas, so we want to try and give the children the best experience possible by giving out presents and making them smile. Hospital visits are an English football Christmas tradition that we enjoy being a part of and we hope the kids and their families feel the same way."

Clint and Hugo at Whipps Cross

Clint added: "It is sad that people are in hospital at this time of year, but it is good to be able to bring some kind of positive energy, they were happy to see us and we were happy to see them.

"It brings home what life is all about, us all coming together and helping people. You get to see by coming to hospital people who really work hard, all the doctors and nurses who take care of people. That is what it is all about, but for us it about lifting the spirits a little bit and seeing the work that goes on behind the scenes, people taking care of people. My mum was a nurse as well for her whole working life so when I see the nurses it makes me think of my mum."