Everton players bring Christmas cheer to Claire House

Wirral Globe: Peter Edwards, Ryan Edwards and Ross Edwards from New Brighton with John Heitinga during the visit. Picture: Stuart Bogg Imaging Peter Edwards, Ryan Edwards and Ross Edwards from New Brighton with John Heitinga during the visit. Picture: Stuart Bogg Imaging

EVERTON stars Tim Howard and John Heitinga brought plenty of festive smiles when they paid a visit to Claire House Children's Hospice.

Fanatic families, who attend the Bebington-based hospice for respite and support, turned up in their droves to meet the players, get autographs and receive a Blue themed present from the players during Wednesday's visit.

Afterwards, Tim Howard said: "It is very humbling to come and see the great work that is done by the staff here every day.

"It is a fantastic facility and hopefully myself and John have been able to put a few smiles on some of the wonderful children’s faces before Christmas."

The hospice cares for children and young people with life limiting medical conditions, as well as providing support for the entire family with respite and counselling.

Hayley Smallman, whose 12-year-old daughter Holly attends Claire House, said: "The players were fantastic and spent so much time chatting to the children and their brothers and sisters.

"They brought so many smiles to the hospice, we really appreciate their support."

Everton Football Club has supported Claire House for a number of years and the players regularly visit the hospice to meet the children and young people who use its services.

Tony Langan, area fundraiser for Claire House, said: "We’ve got a great relationship with Everton and they’re really generous when it comes to visiting the families and handing out gifts.

"It's wonderful to see so many smiles. Mums, dads, brothers and sisters are all able to get involved in visits like this too so it's great for all the families to enjoy meeting the players together."

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