West Ham stars visit Richard House Children’s Hospice
- Credit: Elina Kanela
Any football fan knows the Christmas schedule is hectic.
But that didn’t stop three West Ham stars from taking time out to visit Richard House Children’s Hospice.
Mark Noble, Enner Valencia and Joey O’Brien brought a few festive goodies along with them and even signed autographs for their young fans.
Staff at the Beckton hospice were praised by midfielder Noble, who is a Richard House patron, during Wednesday’s visit.
“I always say it, but the staff here, to look after the kids and the families the way they do is phenomenal,” he said.
“When you’re at places like this football takes a backward step because you realise how lucky you are to be able to go out on the pitch, run around, laugh and enjoy football, when 90 per cent of the kids here can’t even get out of the chairs they’re in.”
Noble has supported the hospice for several years and even asked for donations to the charity instead of presents when he got married in 2012.
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While they might be best known for their skills with a ball, the trio showed they weren’t bad at arts and crafts either.
Hammers captain Noble helped one young girl with her drawing, while another youngster will have a very special Christmas card this year, designed by Ecuadorian international Valencia.
O’Brien, meanwhile, joined in with computer games.
The footballers proved a huge hit with the youngsters, many of whom have life-limiting conditions.