A host of players from the Chelsea FC Women squad surprised children and their families when they visited Kingston Hospital on Tuesday afternoon to spread some Christmas cheer.

Following the men’s visit to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on Monday, players including Millie Bright, Erin Cuthbert and Hannah Blundell brought smiles to the faces of the children and their loved ones on their visit to the hospital, which is located a short distance from Kingsmeadow, the Women’s team home venue. They handed out presents on the ward, as well as posing for pictures and signing autographs.

The squad trained at Cobham on Tuesday morning ahead of their final game of a memorable 2018 campaign against Tottenham Hotspur in the Continental Tyres Cup on Wednesday evening, before going along to the hospital. Scotland International Cuthbert spoke about the importance of the visit.

She said: ‘We’ve been here at Kingston Hospital to see the children to try and brighten up their day.

‘A couple of them are quite poorly so it’s nice to put a smile on their faces and their parents’ faces too.

‘Football is a community sport and so it’s crucial that we get out into the community and engage with them. Hopefully they become inspired and want to be footballers themselves!’

Alongside Cuthbert was New Zealand international Ali Riley and she took time to thank the NHS staff who work so tirelessly all year round.

She said: ‘The staff are doing an incredible job, they are here day in day out working hard to try and make life as great as possible for the children and their families.

‘We can come in and give them a little bit of a breather, take the attention of the kids and the families, and help them have a little bit of fun. It’s been an incredible experience and hopefully it has helped to take their minds off things for a little while whilst we have been here.

‘It’s so important to do these type of visits as you can see how much fun everyone is having and for us it helps us feel that we are giving back to the people who give so much to us.’