England football manager's surprise visit

22 December 2017
England football manager Gareth Southgate made a surprise visit to Martin House's Christmas party, delighting children and families.

Gareth spent a couple of hours meeting children and young people, posing for pictures, handing out FA goody bags and signing autographs.

He said: “I think in football we have the opportunity to bring moments of happiness to people when they watch us but also when we spend some time to visit a place like Martin House and remind ourselves how fortunate we are.

“It certainly puts life into perspective and I’ve been able to make some young people very happy. “We’re in a privileged position to be able to have an impact away from what we do on the field."

The party was also attended by Martin House ambassadors, Emmerdale's Jeff Hordley and Zoe Henry, and children had the chance to visit Santa in his grotto.

Martin Warhurst, chief executive of Martin House, said: “Gareth made a huge impression on everyone, he took so much time to talk to our children and families. He really made it an extra special occasion.”