POORLY youngsters had an early Christmas treat when a group of Reading FC stars made a surprise visit to Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Paul McShane, Chris Gunter, Sone Aluko, Leandro Bacuna, Tiago Ilori and Mo Barrow were on hand to give out presents and spend time with children who are likely to spend this Christmas Day in hospital.

Club captain McShane held a collection among the Royals squad to fund the gifts and scores of youngsters were delighted to meet their footballing heroes.

The Republic of Ireland International said: “We really look forward to visiting the children’s ward at the Royal Berkshire Hospital each Christmas.

"It’s our pleasure to have the chance to meet the children, we appreciate some are having a really tough time and so it’s great if we can help put a smile on their face, particularly at this time of year.”