With the annual Christmas hospital visits unable to take place during the festive period due to the pandemic, the players and staff at Chelsea FC were still keen to support our local hospitals and spread some Christmas cheer this year, with surprise deliveries of presents to those staying in hospital over the Christmas period.

Chelsea-themed gift packages were warmly received at the children’s wards at both Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, who are partnered with Chelsea’s men’s first team and Kingston Hospital, affiliated with the women’s squad.

Gift packages included Chelsea goodies such as footballs, backpacks, stationary sets and plush toy versions of the club’s very own Bridget and Stamford mascots.

Christmas messages from a number of players including Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Mason Mount and Carly Telford, Erin Cuthbert, Fran Kirby and Maria Thorisdottir were also sent to the young patients and their families on the wards.

Frank Lampard commented that: ‘2020 has been like no other and we were disappointed to hear we could not make our annual visit to the children at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, something we always look forward to.

‘The pandemic was not going to stop us surprising the kids and we’re delighted to have been able to send them some early Christmas presents. We hope they enjoy the gifts and we look forward to being able to visit next year.’

Emma Hayes added: ‘We were sad to hear that we weren't able to visit the children at the Sunshine Ward at Kingston Hospital this year, but the players were still keen to support the children and help wrap the presents.

‘We hope they enjoyed our Christmas messages, here’s to 2021 and hopefully delivering the messages in person once more. Merry Christmas to all the staff, patients and their families at Kingston Hospital from everyone at Chelsea FC.’

The Christmas packages were organised by the Chelsea Foundation with the support of XW+, the official charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the team at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.