1. ITV Report

Plymouth Argyle squad bring Christmas joy to children at Derriford hospital

The players spent the afternoon in the children's playroom and the teenage unit at Derriford hospital. Photo: ITV West Country

Plymouth Argyle players paid a visit to sick children at a local hospital.

The squad visited the playroom and teenage unit at Derriford Hospital, on Wednesday 13 December, surprising the kids gifts with Christmas gifts.

Santa Claus and Pilgrim Pete on the way to Derriford Hospital. Credit: ITV West Country

Pilgrim Pete also joined in spreading the Christmas cheer, meeting patients' families and giving out books, toys and other assorted goodies.

I think it's something obviously we do every year and I've been in football a long time now and it's something that is good for the community.

It's nice to give people something back. If you can brighten up people's day then obviously that's a massive bonus for us.

– Gary Sawyer, Plymouth Argyle football player
Ben Gutierrez, here with Santa Claus, had been waiting for his operation. Credit: ITV West Country

Ben Gutierrez's mother said the visit was very special to him.

Well it's really lovely because he's had a long wait around in the hospital with his operation yesterday and sitting around waiting today, so it's changed the day for him and made it a bit special.

He'll be looking forward to seeing our next door neighbours who are very keen supporters."

– Rebecca Gutierrez, Ben's mother

The players signed footballs and t-shirts to give to the patients.

The patients were delighted by the visit and range of gifts. Credit: ITV West Country

I think you know there's always life away from football and it's hard to see kids that are in hospital - you don't want to see it, but hopefully we can come here and put a smile on their faces and give the kids some presents as well."

– Gregg Wylde, Plymouth Argyle football player
The squad make it a point to try to visit kids in hospital annually. Credit: ITV West Country

Nurse Marion Roch, who has worked with the NHS at the hospital for 45 years, says such visits help lift the childrens' spirits.

It means a lot to them. They love it, now especially when they're poorly. It just lifts their spirits a bit. We've made them better."

– Marion Roch, Derriford Hospital Nurse
Nurse Marion on the right says patients' spirits were lifted. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Plymouth Argyle's next League One game is tomorrow, 16 December at 3pm against Rotherham.