Young patients and their families were treated to a surprise visit from a famous footballing face, when Scottish Cup hero Liam Henderson made an unexpected appearance at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.
Liam was a key figure in Hibernian FC’s history-making Scottish Cup win – and the midfielder has agreed to sign and donate the jersey he wore in the victorious match to be put up for auction by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF).
Liam, who was on loan to Hibs from Celtic last season and has now returned to the Parkhead club, visited the ‘Sick Kids’ with his brother Jamie, who frequently used the hospital as a child when he had a heart condition.
SKFF supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and has committed to contribute £2.9million towards its move to a new, purpose-built home at Little France in 2017.
Liam, who became a Hibs fans’ favourite by providing the cross for David Gray’s match-winning header, said: “The Sick Kids Friends Foundation does great work and I wanted to do something to help out.
“As Jamie visited the ‘Sick Kids’ often when he was younger, it is a charity close to both our hearts so we wanted to give something back by visiting and donating my cup winning top to this fantastic cause.
“Winning the cup was so special for me and my strip was obviously a treasured item, but if it can help raise some money for the SKFF then I’ll be delighted.
“All the kids and their families are hugely inspiring and we are very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet them all.”
Sue Diamond, Community Fundraising Manager at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We are very thankful to Liam and Jamie for coming into the hospital to meet the children. Some of them are huge football fans so it really made their day.
“We are also really grateful for Liam’s donation of his unique signed football jersey. It’s a lovely gesture and will make a fantastic item to bid for auction.
“At SKFF, we exist to ensure children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness and that they have a more positive hospital experience. We provide enhanced facilities and cutting edge equipment and it is the generosity of those who get involved with us, like Liam and Jamie, which allows us to continue to do this.”
Liam’s football top will be auctioned off at the Spartan Football Club’s annual Sports Auction in September.