MIDFIELD duo Chris Brunt and James Morrison had Californian children smiling when they visited a Sacramento hospital during Albion’s sixth full day in the Golden State.
Skipper Brunt and Scotland international Morrison joined representatives of this week’s opponents Sacramento Republic – including technical director and ex-Baggies keeper Graham Smith – in visiting paediatric patients at the UC Davis Medical Center.
The midfield duo chatted to poorly youngsters and their parents, signed autographs and posed for photos.
And there was a special moment for ten-year-old Republic fan Drake Spiteri, from Shingle Springs. Drake will be absent from this week’s friendlies against the Baggies due to his surgery but his eyes lit up when Brunt and Morrison presented him with an Albion shirt signed by the entire squad (see Photo 1 above).
“Drake was still a bit groggy from his operation and he was obviously disappointed to be missing the games, but I think the shirt helped to cheer him up,” said Brunt.
“When you have kids of your own, you can understand what the parents are going through and it’s a good part of our job to be able to give something back, especially when it involves poorly children.”
Morrison added: “We do a few hospital visits back home and it’s always a humbling experience.
“We just tried to put smiles on the young people’s faces. They certainly put smiles on ours.”
Earlier in the day, Albion’s players had to contend with more searing temperatures during their morning training session.
Loan signing Andre Wisdom, who arrived in Sacramento on Tuesday evening, trained with his new team-mates for the first time.