Manager Ian Evatt, his coaching staff and first-team squad did their bid to add some Christmas cheer with their annual visits to the town’s hospital and local hospices.
Evatt and half-a-dozen senior players dropped in at the Royal Bolton Hospital to hand out gifts, signed pictures and chat to staff and patients and their families on the children’s ward and the paediatric A and E department.
At the same time, players and members of the backroom staff visited Bolton Hospice – along with club ambassador and former Wanderers’ playing great John McGinlay – and Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley to deliver presents and spend quality time with residents and staff.
“Making these visits is something that’s very important to us as a Club and as individuals,” said Evatt. “We are so grateful to the town and the community for their support and it’s nice to be able to give a little something back at this time of year.
“Christmas is a lovely time for most, but can also be a tough time for some, and if we are able to put a smile on someone’s face in hospital and at the hospices – whose staff all do such tremendous work all year round – it’s the least we can do.”
Among the players to accompany Evatt to Royal Bolton Hospital was Wanderers’ vice-captain Gethin Jones, who was delighted to help raise a smile for those he and his team-mates met.
“The community - the fans - they support us all the way through the season, so coming out here and doing just a little bit to make things a bit brighter is the least we can do,” the defender said.
“Christmas can be a very difficult time for some families, so as players it is important to give some support back. There are some kids in the hospital and those in the hospices that won’t be able to spend time with their families at home, so coming here and giving a few little gifts out is just something we can do to show it really does mean a lot to us.
“Some of the kids are so young but you can see they recognise us when we walk in. It was lovely to walk round and talk to them, talk to the parents, take some pictures and give a few little cards out. Just that little smile makes it worth it. It was lovely to see everyone.”