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by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

The Everton squad made their annual visit to Alder Hey children's hospital on Tuesday.

David Moyes, Steve Round and the players made their way to the hospital to meet children and their families and spread some festive cheer.

Leon Osman, Tim Cahill and Phil Neville all also made appearances at Everton's megastores to meet fans and sign merchandise. 

The famous Alder Hey hospital is one of Europe's biggest and busiest units, and provides care for over 200,000 children every year.

Many of the young patients will have to spend this Christmas on the wards but were delighted to meet some of their Everton heroes during the annual visit.

After visiting Alder Hey, the squad then travelled to Goodison Park to meet young fans at the Evertonia Christmas Party.

Blues goalkeeper Tim Howard also visited the Claire House hospice, in Wirral, and explained that the visits are something the players are more than happy to do.

He told evertontv: "We come here once a year in the holiday and try and bring a bit of festive cheer. It is difficult to see children who are suffering with illness and injury but it is very humbling and puts life into perspective.


"All the kids seem to smile with us being here and that is a really nice thing. We just kick a football round, we are all just human beings but, for whatever reason, it brings some joy to these young people for us to be here.

"The work they do here is terrific, it is known throughout Liverpool and throughout the UK. It is a special hospital and is important to the community so it is important for us to give something back – particularly at this time of year.

"The festive period is the time to be with family and is the perfect time for us to try and do something for the community."

Phil Neville and Tim Cahill then visited the Everton One megastore, signing autographs and posing for pictures with hundreds of fans.

Leon Osman was at the Everton Two store in Liverpool city centre where he helped launch the new We Are Everton book with the help of scores of Blues' fans.

Tim Howard at Claire House hospice

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