Players and staff from Sale Sharks made a special visit to a children’s hospital in Manchester to deliver home-cooked meals and Christmas presents this week, in conjunction with Emmie’s Kitchen.

Chris Ashton led the star-studded line-up of players, including Sam James, Marland Yarde and Simon Hammersley, as the Premiership Rugby side dropped in at Ronald McDonald House Manchester.

The group were joined by Michelle Orange, co-owner of Sale Sharks, for the special Christmas event which took place on Wednesday evening.

The players helped deliver the food to more than 150 families and also posed for pictures and talked to families at the event.

“It’s been a privilege to play our part supporting an inspirational charity initiative right here in the heart of Manchester,” said Michelle Orange.

“Emmie’s Kitchen is only a small charity, but they play a vital role in making sure families staying at Ronald McDonald House enjoy home-cooked food at least once each month during the year.

“It was our pleasure to lend them a hand this month, and the players also took the time to go and spend time with lots of young fans here.”

The 2019 Emmie’s Kitchen was set up by the parents and grandmother of Emmie Narayan-Nicholas after she was diagnosed with leukaemia and had to spend over 100 nights at the Royal Manchester Children’s hospital during a 6-month period.

Eve Narayan-Nicholas, mother of Emmie, said: “We are so pleased that Sharks were able to attend this month’s event, and they certainly brought a lot of joy to the families here. The volunteering of their time and the donation of tickets and memorabilia is incredibly generous, and we are very grateful.

“It is great to see a club throw their support behind a cause at the heart of the city.”

Sally Cannon, a Deputy House Manager from Ronald McDonald House Charities added: “Just like all our Houses, our Manchester House is a ‘home away from home’ for families during some of the toughest times of their lives, providing them with a sense of normality and a safe haven to recuperate close by to their poorly child.

“As an independent charity, we rely on the support from our donors and volunteers, which is why groups like Emmie’s Kitchen are so invaluable to us.

“Our Houses are open 365 days of the year, meaning a lot of families spend their Christmas with us, away from home. We try and make the holiday period as festive as possible for them, so it was great to see a selection of Sale Sharks players visit the House to help bring some festive cheer to our Manchester House during this cold December evening!”