Five Exeter City stars made Christmas come early for youngsters that will be spending the festive period in hospital.

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City captain Danny Coles surprised the children at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital’s Bramble Ward by dropping by to deliver presents and signed shirts, along with teammates Tommy Doherty, Jamie Cureton, Tom Nichols and Elliott Frear.

ECF club mascot Grecian the Lion also went along to spread some yuletide cheer.

The Build-a-Bear Workshop mascot joined them too, making sure that all the children had a special day to remember from their time in hospital.

The Bramble Ward at RD&E has 45 beds. The ward is dedicated to children up to the age of 16, and offers a playroom and bedside activities for children unable to go to the playroom.

It also runs school sessions for children that have to spend three or more days in hospital, so that they don’t miss out on any important learning during their time away from the classroom and friends.

A spokeswoman for RD&E said: “No-one wants to be in hospital over the Christmas period, but it can be especially difficult for children and their families.

“It was lovely for children on our wards to receive a visit from the Exeter City football team and Build-a-Bear this week. It gave them an unexpected treat and really brightened up their hospital stay.”

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