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Gallery: Duo Head To Claire House

Everton stars Tim Howard and John Heitinga brought plenty of festive smiles as they paid a visit to Claire House Children’s Hospice on Wednesday.

Toffees fanatic families, who attend the Bebington-based hospice for respite and support, turned up in their droves to meet the players, get autographs and receive a Blue-themed present from the players.

Howard said of the visit: "It is very humbling to come and see the great work that is done by the staff here every day.

"It is a fantastic facility and hopefully myself and John have been able to put a few smiles on some of the wonderful children’s faces before Christmas."

Claire House cares for children and young people with life limiting medical conditions, as well as providing support for the entire family with respite and counselling.

Hayley Smallman, whose 12 year-old daughter Holly attends Claire House, said: “The players were fantastic and spent so much time chatting to the children and their brothers and sisters. They brought so many smiles to the hospice. We really appreciate their support.”

Everton Football Club have supported Claire House for a number of years and the players regularly visit the hospice to meet the children and young people who use its services.

Tony Langan, Area Fundraiser for Claire House, said: “We’ve got a great relationship with Everton and they’re really generous when it comes to visiting the families and handing out gifts.

“It’s wonderful to see so many smiles - mums, dads, brothers and sisters are all able to get involved in visits like this too, so it’s great for all the families to enjoy meeting the players together.”

Claire House relies on grants and donations to stay open. For more information, click here.

All images courtesy of Stuart Bogg imaging.

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