Bognor footballers score a Christmas hit with youngsters in hospital

Rocks players scored a huge victory when they were able to deliver festive cheer and goodies to poorly children at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester.

Bognor manager Jack Pearce, coach Robbie Blake and the first-team squad -- along with mascot Rocky the Bear -- were on hand to on a visit organised by supporters’ club chairman Ian Guppy liaising with former Rocks defender John Price.

Rocky the Bear with St Richard's staff

Rocky the Bear with St Richard's staff

Guppy said the smiles on the faces of the children as they received gifts made the visit very special, adding: "As a club we believe in helping in our community, and what better way than to be able to spread some Christmas cheer. The children and staff were so appreciative and it was so heart-warming."

Boss Pearce thanked the staff at the hospital for their dedication and said: "If there is anything the club can do to help the hospital, do not hesitate to get in touch, it shouldn't just be at Christmas, we will be delighted to help."

The visit was in conjunction with Love Your Hospital, which is a dedicated charity for the three hospitals that make up Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. St Richard’s, Worthing Hospital and Southlands Hospital in Shoreham.

Love Your Hospital raises awareness and money to fund the very latest equipment, enable staff to provide outstanding healthcare need and to ensure patients have access to the best and most modern facilities.

Kerry Brunnen, play therapist for the children’s ward at St Richard’s Hospital said: “Although nursing staff do their very best to make this time of year as warm and welcoming as possible, hospital is the last place anyone wants to be over Christmas. Children just want to be at home opening presents with their family.”

Tina Shaw-Morton, joint managing director of Rocks sponsors Woods Travel Ltd, said she was delighted to see the club playing such an active part in the community, adding: "Were already enormously proud to sponsor the Rocks and then when you see this initiative it makes us even happier to be involved with such a club. Well played, boys!”

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