SAINTS players have been putting smiles on their fans' faces in recent weeks - and now they have done the same for sick children at Southampton General Hospital.

On the club's annual visit to the hospital, they spent time signing cards, handing out cuddly toys and posing for photographs.

Clare Pickett, who is a play specialist on the Piam Brown ward, said: “We told them [the children] this morning just to keep it as a surprise.

“It’s absolutely brilliant. The children have been looking forward to this all day and you could see their faces this afternoon.

“They were all smiling from ear-to-ear and it’s a nice thing that they give up their time to come here and spend it with the kids who have been in the hospital for a long time.”

The visit, organised by the Saints Foundation, saw the team split up into different groups.

Between them, they visited the children's cancer and day surgery units, the orthopaedic ward and the elder citizens. Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and midfielder James Ward-Prowse were amongst the star attractions for the patients inside the hospital.

Josh Bunting, 6, is a Saints season ticket holder and couldn't wait to meet Ward-Prowse.

The youngster suffered a seizure last Friday, on his birthday, and has had another three since - despite there being no history of epilepsy in the family.

His dad, Anthony, said: “He [Josh] is a massive Saints fan and his favourite player is [James] Ward-Prowse.

“He went to the game against Wolves to see them win and his brother was the mascot which made him jealous as he wanted to be out there.

“But to see them all here this afternoon will hopefully give him a bit of a lift and put him on the road to recovery.

“He has an MRI booked and has had a couple of scans, so hopefully it will heal itself or with medication.”