The Herald

Celtic boss Rodgers makes Christmas Day visit to hospice for cancer victims

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CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers has brought some muchneeded cheer – and a cheque for £26,000 from himself and the first-team players – to a hospice in his home city.

Rodgers spent yesterday morning visiting patients and staff at the Northern Ireland Hospice in Belfast with his fiancée Charlotte Searle.

The County Antrim-born manager is an ambassador to the charity, having lost both his father and mother to cancer. His father Malachy died in 2011, aged 59, and received care from the hospice in his finals days.

Rodgers, whose side beat Hamilton 3-0 in the Scottish Premiershi­p at New Douglas Park on Saturday, said: “Visiting patients, families and staff today at the hospice has once again been a humbling experience.

“But on today of all days, the visit serves as a poignant reminder to me and hopefully everyone out there, of the importance of spending quality time with family and loved ones.

“The memory of my time spent at the hospice today will stay with me for a very long time and I would like to wish all those families who I met today, and families everywhere, a peaceful and merry Christmas.

“I would also take this opportunit­y to acknowledg­e the incredible staff and volunteers at the hospice who are working hard to make this day extra special for the patients and families.”

Rodgers was accompanie­d by the hospice’s president, Paul Clark, a TV presenter.

The hospice’s spokeswoma­n, Claire Bradshaw, said: “Since becoming an ambassador earlier this year, Brendan has given his time selflessly to support our work. And his generosity in terms of funding has been a huge help.”

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