Derby County players helped put a smile on the faces of our young patients by paying a special visit to Derbyshire Children’s Hospital.

Mason Mount, Tom Lawrence and Fikayo Tomori were among a number of Rams stars to take part in the annual trip yesterday, with the players handing out early Christmas presents to young patients.

The squad helped spread some festive joy to those in the children’s hospital by meeting with youngsters and parents on the wards, making cards and having a sing along to some Christmas classics.

Richard Keogh, Scott Carson, Craig Bryson, Tom Huddleston, David Nugent, Jayden Bogle and Mason Bennett all took part in the visit; handing out games and toys, posing for pictures and signing autographs for patients, visitors and hospital staff alike.

As well as meeting children on the hospital’s Puffin, Sunflower and Dolphin wards, the players also played pool and table football with members of the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital Youth Forum in the hospital’s Teen Pride Suite.

Derby County defender Richard Keogh said: “Having to come to hospital can be a scary experience, especially for young children, so it’s nice to be able to lift them a little with visits like this and put smiles on their faces. It’s also great to be able to meet some of the people that work in the children’s hospital, who all do such an amazing job. All of the players really look forward to the hospital visit. We’re very lucky to do the job that we do but it’s an even more rewarding experience to be able to cheer the kids up and speak to them and their families.”

Jo Watson, Lead Nurse at the Children’s Hospital, said: “The annual visit by the Derby County players is always a highlight at Christmas and we are really grateful to them for going out of their way to meet some of our patients. The players made such a difference cheering up some of the children who are in hospital at this time of year, as well as their families. It’s heartening to see the players giving something back to their local community and I would like to thank them for their generous Christmas gifts.”