The North End squad tried to spread some festive cheer on Monday, when they visited Royal Preston Hospital’s Children’s Ward.
The whole team were in attendance to hand out goodie bags from the Club and to present a raft of toys purchased with money donated by the players themselves.
Speaking about the visit, defender Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, a father himself, said that the experience was a ‘humbling’ one and that the role the squad play in the community is an important one, at any time of year.
“It’s quite a humbling experience,” he told PNE.Com. “It is a chance to give something back to the kids and back to the community and to move away from the life we live and see what other people are going through at this of year.
“You see some home truths and understand what life is about. For example, I have just bumped into an old coach of mine who is in here with his little girl, who has got bronchitis, and my brother’s child has recently had that – so, being a father myself, you realise that these things happen and life is fragile. This is what life is all about, looking after your family, especially at this time of year as well.
“You don’t want to be here at this time of year, you want to be out enjoying the festive season, spending the time with the rest of your family. I know from my own experiences when I had pneumonia on Christmas Eve when I was a lot younger, I know what it is like to be in hospital at this time of year and no one wants to be in hospital over Christmas, it is very hard for the family.
“What we are doing here isn’t a lot, but to be able to give the kids some presents and something different to play with whilst they are in here, to change their day or their week, is something more we can do.
“The community role is a massively important part of being a footballer. The community and these families and children are the ones who come and watch us week in, week out. The community is a massive part of our game and our life and it is important we give a little bit back.”
You can see footage of the visit and an interview with Scott Laird, who thanks the hospital staff and the fans after his own experiences in the last couple of weeks, on PNE Player – click here to sign in now.