Andrea Orlandi, Inigo Calderon and Bruno said they were extremely moved by their visit to Chestnut Tree House last week.
The Albion trio visited the children’s hospice on Tuesday and were shown the hydrotherapy pool, the Teenage Wing, Wind in the Willows Wing for younger children and the Music Room where the players and children had an impromptu – and very noisy – session on the drums!
Speaking to seagulls.co.uk Calderon, who ran a triathlon in aid of the hospice last summer, said, “I came last year and it is inspirational. At the beginning you think it is not going to be a good afternoon as obviously you know where you are coming but at the end you see everyone is here to make things easier and you have to realise how important these places are.
“They are just trying to help them and you have to see the reality because sometimes we are thinking about problems but you come here and you see so much is precious. If we can do something to help them then we have to do that.”
Orlandi added, “It was my first time here but I had heard from Calde what I was going to experience. He told me that the people here are very positive and they are the ones that cheer you up and it is incredible if you think about it, so a lot of credit them.
“As Calde said it is inspirational to see the parents and kids and if we can help them a little bit and help raise some money then I am happy with that.
“If they want me back at any time I will be open to do some more things as I think it is very important and you see how lucky you are, and if we can help them raise some money then it will be very welcome.”
The players were greeted by Nicholas Clayton, one of the children being cared for by the hospice and an ardent Seagulls fan, and player liason Steve Gibbon arranged for Nicholas to be a mascot for Saturday’s game against Wigan Athletic.
In honour of the players’ visit, the children and young people had spent the afternoon doing various craft activities including making football and Seagull decorations in the Albion’s blue and white colours.
After tea and cake, generously donated by Mayo Wynne Baxter from Piglet’s Pantry, Inigo, Bruno and Andrea were presented with a thank you card made by the children and using their handprints as decorations.
Janet Parsons, head of communications at Chestnut Tree House said, “It was wonderful to see the children’s faces when the players arrived. They were delighted to meet their football heroes.
“The players were great – they really got involved with all the activities going on at the House, signed autographs and posed for pictures.
“They certainly brought smiles to the children’s faces and we would like to say a huge thank you to Inigo, Bruno and Andrea for coming to visit us and to Brighton & Hove Albion for their tremendous support.”