Sick children try to lift the spirits of the unfortunate souls who play for the Black Cats
A group of local children’s hospital patients and staff visited Sunderland’s training complex on Monday in an effort to spread some merriment at the relegation threatened club. With 14 points through 17 Premier League matches so far this season, Sunderland currently sit 18th in the table—just two points from the bottom—and were in dire need of cheering up this holiday season. Which is why this group of sick children and their tireless caregivers took pity on the Sunderland players and spent some quality time with them.
“It’s a very difficult time of the year for for footballers to be playing for Sunderland,” said Timmy, age seven. “Visiting the training ground and spending some time with the players and their families is always something the kids enjoy and hopefully we have helped lift their spirits a little. Just seeing the pain in their eyes as they wore their sad ‘I love SAFC’ Christmas jumpers was heartbreaking.”
Samantha, nine, added: “The Sunderland staff do such an—well, I wouldn’t say ‘amazing’ job—but they try their best. And even though that’s not proving to be good enough, it’s great to be able to thank them for all their work and meet the players as they trudge towards relegation. It’s just nice to give something back to the people who need it most. Especially at this time of year.”
The children’s efforts did not go unappreciated, either.
Sunderland manager David Moyes was near tears when a young boy was willing to accept his autograph instead of laughing in his face like most people when he offers. Another child even knew Lee Cattermole’s name.
“It’s been a tough few years for me in particular,” Moyes said after the event, “And though these kids don’t know what it’s like to make millions of pounds despite a growing list of failures, it feels good to know that they care about us as we endure this difficult time in our lives.”