Bognor players and staff take Christmas cheer to young hospital patients

They might have had their matches at Corinthian Casuals and Folkestone called off in the past few days, but Bognor Regis Town's players have still been busy.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 10:55 am
Updated Saturday, 21st December 2019, 10:56 am
The Bognor players and staff, and Rocky the Bear, at St Richard's

And Christmas came early for children in hospital when Rocks players made a special delivery of presents in a bid to spread some festive cheer.

Manager Jack Peace, coach Robbie Blake and a group of first team players joined club mascot Rocky Bear to conjure up some yuletide spirit on Howard Ward at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester.

The Nyewood Lane outfit teamed up with Love Your Hospital -- Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust’s fundraising arm -- for the campaign and former Bognor ace John Price, the charity's corporate company fundraiser, said he was delighted to welcome the squad.

The Bognor players and staff, and Rocky the Bear, at St Richard's

Love Your Hospital is the dedicated charity for St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, Worthing Hospital and Southlands Hospital in Shoreham. And John said: "We'd like to thank Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake and all of the players and visiting party for bringing an array of wonderful gifts to the children. It was a special visit."

Kerry Brunnen, the ward's play leader, said it was hard for children and parents to cope with being in hospital at Christmas and that the visit brought a sense of fun to the hospital.

She explained: "It was a lovely atmosphere and everyone enjoyed the visit so much, It cheered everyone up, the children and the parents, and we're grateful to Bognor Regis Town for coming along and handing out the gifts and bringing us some light-hearted moments."

Ian Guppy, the Rocks supporters' cub chairman who helped organise the visit, said it was touching to see the smiles on the faces of the children. He said: "The visit has provided some treat surd memories -- it was so lovely to see how happy the children were even though they are in hospital as Christmas approaches.”

Rocky the Bear at St Richard's

Bognor are back in action on the pitch - weather permitting - at Lewes on Boxing Day.

Rocky the Bear at St Richard's