Socceroos put a smile on sick kids faces

Qantas Socceroo stars Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer, Jade North and Danny Allsopp made a number of sick children very happy today when they visited the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Qantas Socceroo stars Harry Kewell, Mark Schwarzer, Jade North and Danny Allsopp made a number of sick children very happy today when they visited the Royal Children-s Hospital in Brisbane.

Having only just arrived that morning from their various destinations around Australia, the four happily chatted, took pictures, signed autographs and some even had the chance to kick a ball around with the four players.

With all four players each having young families of their own, they know how important it is to keep kids happy, but they each admitted this was special, given how tough many of these kids are doing it.

“Certainly, it-s one of these things you feel privileged to do, knowing you can come to a kids hospital and lift the kids spirits, Kewell said. “We do it quite a lot over there in England and I think it-s important to give something back to the community.

“It-s always great (seeing a smile on there faces). You know they are going through a rough time. Part of healing is laughter and that-s what we tried to achieve today.”

9-year-old Andrew Sinclair from Graceville in Brisbane, who suffers from severe Eczema all over his body, even challenged Harry to a game of table soccer and according to the former Liverpool midfielder managed to beat him 3-2.

“He beat me 3-2,” Harry said. “I need to practice a bit more; he was lucky. I-ll get him next time.

“But in all honesty, that-s what we come here for to see him like this and I hope everything goes well.”

Schwarzer a father of two, who has also written a series of children-s books, backed Kewell-s words.

“It-s always nice; we do this a lot around Christmas time in England and its nice to be able to do it back here in Australia,” Schwarzer said. “To see the kids who are a little less fortunate with their health; if they are having a downer at certain stages, it-s nice to come along and put a smile on their face.”

Meanwhile, Kewell revealed that the squad is preparing to play Iraq, despite the revelations that the matches against Iraq may not go ahead due to circumstances in the country that threaten their expulsion from the qualifiers.

“We-re not really concentrating on that (not playing Iraq),” Kewell said. “We know we are going to be playing them on Sunday and that-s what we are preparing for.

“We are thinking about playing them and we really want to play them; as a team we-ve entered the qualification process through Asia and we want to do it properly. We want to play all the teams and we want to get there the right way.”

“Personally I know I want to play them. It would be disappointing if we didn-t play them and I know a few of the other boys would be as well.”

The Socceroos are due to play Iraq, next Sunday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, with the kick-off at 5.00pm.

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