Hartlepool United players gave specially selected secondary school students a festive treat by throwing them a Christmas party.
Seventeen young people from Hartlepool Virtual School for Vulnerable Pupils were invited to Pools’ ground for the bash.
It was brilliant to see how happy the kids were to see usTrevor Carson, Hartlepool United
They tucked into a Christmas buffet in the Victoria Lounge, played on an Xbox wrapped up gifts donated for each of them for their family or friends.
The youngsters were then given a guided tour of The Northern Gas and Power Stadium, including changing rooms, dugouts and the press box.
Back in the Victoria Lounge, they were met by seven Pools players – Lewis Alessandra, Padraig Amond, Trevor Carson, Ben Dudzinski, Josh Laurent, Billy Paynter and Harly Wise.
They all posed for pictures and signed autographs for the youngsters and gave out selection boxes and team posters.
Lucy Cumming, education officer for the vulnerable pupils, said: “I honestly think we’ve just given them the best Christmas present ever.
“It was such a unique experience for the children and it’s left them with some treasured memories that I am sure they will keep with them forever.”
Goalkeeper Trevor Carson said: “I’ve said before that we should do more work out in the community – and it’s particularly rewarding to do that at this time of year.
“It was brilliant to see how happy the kids were to see us, and hopefully that has helped give them a really good Christmas.”
One pupil described it as “the best day of my life”.