Players from Exeter City’s first team were accompanied by new manager Gary Caldwell and mascot Grecian the Lion as they visited children in hospital to spread a little pre-Christmas cheer.
Thanks to a whip round from the players, a £100 donation from Exeter City Supporters’ Trust and a £300 contribution from Smyths Toys Superstore, the club was able to buy Christmas gifts worth more than £600.
Woody Blight, six, Phoebe King, 10, and little eight-week-old baby Louie were among the youngsters who were visited by the players.
The players in attendance were Matt Jay, Pierce Sweeney, Jonathan Grounds, Jevani Brown, and Jake Caprice, along with manager Gary Caldwell. They spent time on the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Bramble Ward, at the RD&E Wonford chatting to the children, some of whom will be spending this Christmas in hospital.
Exeter City Manager Gary Caldwell, said: “We were really pleased to take a break from training to spend some time in the hospital. Lots of these youngsters will be facing a Christmas on Bramble Ward, so to be able to take these amazing gifts and spend some time with them is the least we can do.
“As a supporter-owned club, things like this are very important to us and the players are always happy to be involved and give up their time and, of course, contribute to the gifts.”
Gary added: "We’re very grateful to everyone who contributed to this and enabled us to make this a really special visit for the children.
Ian Roome, head of fundraising at the Royal Devon Trust, said: “We are very grateful to everyone at Exeter City Football Club and we always look forward to their Christmas visit! It’s really lovely to see the positive impact this has on our families – thank you so much.”Take a look at the visit
Whilst one group of players were at the hospital, another were spending time with older city fans, at the club’s annual Seniors’ Christmas Social event which was staged thanks to contributions from the Supporters’ Trust and the Senior Reds group.
The St James event was back after being cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic. The first team players were joined by members of the Exeter City Women squad. As well as meeting the players the visitors had the chance to join in a game of skittles, play bingo and enjoy a stadium and museum tour.
The day finished with the full Exeter City first team meeting and greeting the fans at the annual calendar launch and signing event.