HARTFORD FC are pulling together to spread some Christmas cheer to children who are having a difficult time.

The club are working with the Samaritans Purse in Operation Christmas Child, which donates shoe boxes full of gifts and ideas to children less fortunate throughout the world.

"We are asking each player from the club to donate a shoe box full of school supplies, hygiene goods, soft toys, clothing accessories and other suitable items for young children with the aim to share positivity and joy with those less fortunate than ourselves," said Dan Wallwork, youth development officer and coach to several of Hartford's teams.

"Let’s all come together and show how one kind gesture can make a huge difference to children all around the world!"

Hartford currently have 311 registered girls and boys, and a further 72 open age and veteran players, so there is potential for a lot of goody-filled shoe boxes.

"The reason we have chosen the Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child is because we appreciate our players are in very comfortable surroundings and have the luxury of school and football on a (usually) regular basis," said Wallwork, 23, from Northwich.

"As we are in another lockdown, the joy of football has been taken away temporarily, but the aim is to open the players' eyes to see how fortunate they are to have these opportunities and to realise how they can help others in less fortunate positions.

"We know we aren’t going to create too many superstars, however, we pride ourselves on creating humble, caring, respectful individuals adhering to our club values: honesty, friendship and commitment."

Giving charities a helping hand is nothing new for Hartford FC.

"We help charities each year," said Wallwork.

"Usually on presentation day, where we have a charity game for spectators to watch and an annual football festival for our new under 7s team at the start of the football season.

"This year, our under 11s completed a charity run for the Joshua Tree, covering 1197.66 miles and raising £1,240!"

A shoe box network is to be set up within the club so that team managers will provide players with drop-off venues and dates nearer the time.

More information about the project can be found here www.samaritans-purse.org.uk