Surprise Christmas visit

16 December 2022

Captain Craig Gordon and the first team squad spread lots of festive joy when they made their way around the hospital, meeting and speaking with some of their biggest fans on the wards and handing out Christmas goodies.

The annual visit is organised by NHS Lothian and Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC). This is the first time the Hearts players have been able to visit the hospital in person since 2019 due to Covid, making the occasion even more memorable.

Craig said: “This is an important day in our calendar and we are delighted to be able to visit everyone in person once again.

“Christmas is a special time of year but, unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to spend it at home, happy and healthy with family and friends.

“That it why this visit is really meaningful, because it affords us the chance to give something back and to, hopefully, put some smiles on some faces and spread some Christmas cheer.”

ECHC runs a programme of daily fun activities throughout December to make sure no one spending the season in hospital misses out on the magic of Christmas. So far, children and their families have been entertained by Santa abseiling into the building, a silent disco around the wards and a live pipe band, with plenty more still to come.

Pippa Johnston, Director at ECHC, said: “The Hearts team’s visit to the hospital always provides a real boost to children, families and staff so it is marvellous to be able to welcome them back in person. Some of the children are avid Hearts supporters so really enjoy the opportunity to meet and take photos with their favourite players and get some Hearts goodies too.

“Every year, together with our friends at NHS Lothian, ECHC works hard to make time spent in hospital a little bit brighter. We rely solely on donations and kindness to be able to do this, so we are enormously grateful to Hearts for taking time out of their busy schedule to visit those facing a hospital stay this Christmas.” 

To find out more about ECHC’s Redirected Letters to Santa Christmas appeal and to donate, visit