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Southend United Manager hails children’s ward staff ‘priceless’ during squad visit to hospital

12 December 2017

Health Care

Patients and staff at Southend University Hospital were dreaming of a Blues Christmas after Southend United Manager Phil Brown and his squad paid a visit to Neptune children’s ward to deliver well-wishes and gifts to patients.

Blues Boss, Phil Brown, said: "It's massively important at this time of year that you show support for anyone that is poorly, especially kids in wards like this. It's a fantastic ward and the staff here are priceless."

Both patients and their families were thrilled to see the group of more than 30 players and staff make a special visit to the hospital, which is now something of a happy Christmas tradition.

On the ball was Southend United defender, Jason Demetriou, who met Faith Gazzard, 12, from Hullbridge. He presented the youngster with a signed football and other items along with fellow players Michael Turner, Elvis Bwomono and Alex Clark.

Jason said: "This is part of our Christmas calendar, I've done it every year I have been here and it is just nice to give something back."

Mike Drew, who just so happens to be a massive Phil Brown fan, was with his six year old son Mitchell Drew-Bennett, from Leigh, when they both got to meet the Southend Manager and players. Mike said: "This is all really inspirational for the children, what a lovely surprise to help cheer them up."

One of the youngest to meet the players was Daisy Bell, just 12 weeks old, from Benfleet. Dad, Rob, said that it wasn't just the children who got a real boost by the Shrimpers visit: "My father in law is a season ticket holder, so he'll be thrilled by this. It's great for the kids but after you've been in hospital for what seems like the longest period of your life surprise visits like this really help cheer the parents up as well."