MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Smiles, hugs and presents! Liverpool squad make Christmas visit to Alder Hey

Liverpool’s annual Christmas visit to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital provided the feel-good moments ahead of the festivities.

The Liverpool squad put smiles on the faces of patients and staff at Alder Hey on Monday, as part of their annual visit to the children’s hospital in West Derby.

Jurgen Klopp and his players surprised youngsters and their families with presents in the buildup to Christmas.

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Dominik Szoboszlai were among those to attend as they greeted a number of young Liverpool supporters.

“I recognise every year when we are here, the spirit of the parents. You feel they are here in the right place,” Klopp explained.

“You ask them how they are and [they say] ‘oh, much better than a week ago’.

“So much positive news here, and the atmosphere with the nurses and the doctors and the whole staff is just amazing.

“The boys want to be here, the boys feel the impact they have when they arrive here.

“Some kids are maybe a little bit too small but in a few years when their parents show them the pictures they will be happy.”

Andy Robertson, Thiago, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, Wataru Endo, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, Caoimhin Kelleher, Adrian and Curtis Jones also made trip.

As did youngsters Jarell Quansah, Luke Chambers, Conor Bradley and Marcelo Pitaluga.

Harvey Elliott said: “It’s amazing to see everyone here.

“They’re full of beans and give us motivation as well and inspire us as players to go out and be the best possible human we can be.”

Klopp joked that one shy child was “like an Evertonian” as he chose his iPad over the Liverpool manager, while another told Alisson he had “cold hands.”

The spirit was lifted within the hospital as Klopp and the players posed for photographs and handed out presents, with smiles all round.

Liverpool were forced to make virtual visits to Alder Hey in both 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, with last year bringing their first Christmas trip back.