FA Cup fever is spreading at Sheffield Children’s Hospital after a visit from Sheffield United players heading for Wembley.
Eighteen players, including captain Michael Doyle, paid a visit to the hospital to spend time with sick children ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Hull City tomorrow.
Manager Nigel Clough accompanied his players and spent time chatting to children, families and hospital staff.
They handed out flags and scarfs and signed shirt during the visit.
Clough said: “It was wonderful to meet the children and staff.
“We had a great time and hopefully were able to spread a little bit of Wembley excitement.”
Dave McCarthy, Sheffield United operations director, said young mascots walking on to the pitch at Wembley tomorrow will have Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s logo emblazoned on their shirts.
He said: “We have a long-standing relationship with the hospital at many levels within the club and are proud of these links.
“We thought it would be a great opportunity to tell the world about the hospital.”
David Vernon-Edwards, director at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Seeing the excitement on the children’s faces as players made their way round the hospital was fantastic – it gave a boost for the kids and staff.
“We are grateful for the support of the club, from the players and management to the backroom staff, and we wish them well at Wembley.”
Blades fan Ben Cutts, aged 14, from Chesterfield, was one of the patients who met his idols.
He said: “I was in hospital at Christmas too, but missed the players visiting by a day, so it’s absolutely amazing to meet the team this time.”
His dad Jonathan said: “It’s great that the players have come in to put a smile on the kids’ faces.”
Patient and United season ticket holder Billy Howarth, 14, from Woodhouse, Sheffield, met the players after an operation.