The Covid pandemic has prevented Manchester United players from going in to local hospitals this Christmas but the club has still organised gifts and virtual messages for the patients and staff.

The Manchester United Foundation have organised for 2000 items to be delivered to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, The Christie and Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Cristiano Ronaldo used to make the visits last time he was at the club and has spoken of his disappointment at not being able to go in person this year.

I like to go to the hospitals for the young people and give them support during this special moment of the year. It’s important to make the kids happy. It’s great. For me it’s an honour to be a part of this Christmas tradition. I’m so happy. It is unfortunate that we could not visit the hospitals this year, as it is something I really liked to do when I was last here at Old Trafford.

Scott McTominay echoed Ronaldo’s sentiments and spoke of how much he enjoyed doing something special for young fans at Christmas.

Christmas time is such a special time of year. It’s important for the families and the kids to feel loved and feel that warmth around Christmas. The best part of being a footballer is seeing the smiles on fans’ faces.

This support is part of Manchester United Foundation’s Santa’s Red Helpers campaign, which offers opportunities for young people, as well as supporting local communities and families over the winter period. This year’s campaign is once again also supporting FareShare Greater Manchester, and the Club and Foundation have pledged £100,000 to provide 400,000 meals for those in need this Christmas.