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Hampshire Players spread festive joy this Christmas

Six of the Hampshire squad and staff from the Ageas Bowl visited hospital on Wednesday 16 December to spread the festive joy this Christmas. 

Organised by the club’s official charity, Hampshire Cricket in the Community, the Hants players took time out of their busy winter schedule to visit Southampton General Hospital. 

Packed with a selection of Christmas presents, which were generously donated by staff at Hampshire Cricket and Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, three players and club mascot Roary the Lion paid a visit to the children’s ward.

James Tomlinson, Chris Wood and Lewis McManus handed out gifts, signed autographs and spoke to patients, family and staff. 

Hampshire all-rounder Chris Wood said: “I’ve been lucky enough to have done this with the club a few times and it’s a real eye-opener. Just to put a few smiles on the faces of the children here is an amazing feeling and it’s unbelievably important to give back to the local community for us as a cricket club. On behalf of all the lads, I’d like to thank the staff at the Ageas Bowl and Hilton at the Ageas Bowl for their donation of the gifts which has let this happen today.”  

In the afternoon, Roary the Lion joined Hants players Jimmy Adams, Ryan Stevenson and Tom Alsop as they made the trip to Naomi House Hospice in Winchester, where the donated gifts were again gratefully received. 

Rachel Funnell, Southampton Hospital Charity Coordinator for Piam Brown Ward, the Wessex Chil-dren’s cancer unit, said: “The children and families hugely benefit from visits such as these, we are very grateful to Hampshire Cricket for giving their time to spread a little Christmas cheer. We are so grateful for all the support we receive on Piam Brown Ward and the other children’s units.  It is such a pleasure to receive visitors and see the fantastic smiles on the faces of our young patients.”

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