Club News

'Their stories inspire us all'

ALBION Head Coach Darren Moore drew inspiration from Tuesday's annual Christmas visit to Sandwell Hospital.

Darren, flanked by players Sam Johnstone, Kyle Bartley, Harvey Barnes and Matt Phillips, helped lighten some of the burden for patients spending the festive period in hospital.

They delivered presents from Santa, posed for photographs and signed autographs as they led a mission to spread festive cheer.

The Baggies spent time on children's wards with parents and kids, including seven-month-old Harry and brother and sister, Emmanuel (4) and Miracle (four months).

The Albion boss and players then paid a visit to patients in rehabilitation following a stroke as they underwent their recovery at the hospital.

Darren said: "Some of these patients are avid Albion fans so it's good to get up close and personal with them.

"They cheer us on from the sidelines so it's up to us to help and encourage them through difficult times.

"We want to lend our support and give them a boost to get better. It helps breed positivity.

"It's important to come into the community - it's something I really believe in.

"To hear their stories is inspiring to us all."

And goalkeeper Johnstone echoed the words of the Baggies boss following the visit.

"We came here to visit people who are going through a hard time, probably going to be in hospital over Christmas, kids and adults," said the Albion stopper.

"It's meant to be a period for celebrations and spending time with family.

"Hopefully we've put some smiles on people's faces."

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager for Your Trust Charity - run by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust - said: "It's always a pleasure to welcome the Albion players to our hospital, especially at Christmas.

"This year the players met not only some of our younger patients that we are currently treating but also some of those on our stroke ward."

Abbie Hanlon, Play Therapist, added: "It's been really heart-warming to see how happy it makes our patients.

"It's very kind that the footballers take time out of their busy schedule to bring in gifts and chat to them."

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