SOME of the Seagulls’ biggest stars made dreams come true when they paid a surprise Christmas visit to poorly children in hospital this week.

Imogen Watts, aged six, was one of the children who got to meet the likes of captain Bruno and star striker Glenn Murray – as well as Gully the Albion mascot.

The players handed out gifts and posed for photos with youngsters at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton on Tuesday.

Imogen was in hospital to have her appendix out when the players popped in with presents for the children.

Her mother Gemma, 25, said the festive treat left Imogen feeling happy and excited and with a big smile on her face.

She said: “The present was perfect. She got an arts and crafts kit and she loves making stuff.

“She got it out straight away and made me a picture.”

Gemma, who is originally from Brighton but now lives in Littlehampton, said she had missed the surprise visit.

“I was really upset because I really wanted to be there too,” she joked.

“When I explained to Imogen afterwards ‘we have watched them play football on the telly before, they’re really famous’, she was like ‘wow’.

“She couldn’t believe it, she was so excited.”

Gemma plans to make an album of photographs from the special visit as a keepsake for Imogen to remember her time in hospital and show all her school friends.

Imogen had to stay in hospital for five days on antibiotics after her operation.

“They got there just in time,” Gemma said.

“Her appendix was just about to rupture so it was a very close call.”

But luckily Imogen, who goes to River Beach Primary School in Littlehampton, was soon on the mend and was due to go home on Thursday.

Gemma said a big thank you to the club for making Imogen’s stay in hospital so special.

Seagulls skipper Bruno and top goalscorer Murray were joined by Jason Steele, Ben Roberts, Paul Trollope and women’s team player Emily Simpkins to spread some festive joy and hand out presents to the children.

Bruno said: “Every Christmas we come here to visit the children, most of them are Brighton fans, and it was nice to spend the time with them.

“They are going through some very tough times, but to see the smiles on their faces gives you a lot of energy.

“It’s important for us to do as many things as possible in the community, because the community helps and supports us

week in, week out, both home and away.

“We try to give something back to society and to the community. The more we can do, the better.”

Matters then turned to events on the pitch, and the Spaniard explained there was a general feeling of optimism in the squad ahead of today’s vital clash against their South Coast rivals Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

“They are a really good side who are very organised and play some really good football.

“It’s a tough place to go, but we are really positive.

“We are on a really good run of performances, playing good football and it will be great to go there and get three points.”

Bruno is now the oldest player in the Premier League, and he explained how his good habits off the pitch are contributing to a lengthy career.

“It’s important to have discipline day by day and to have good habits in terms of resting, training and eating properly.

“It’s good to have those habits, but I would say discipline is the main thing.

“Sometimes it’s hard, Christmas is coming and there will be a lot of sweets around.

“You need to have the discipline to say, ‘no’.

“The older you get, you have to be even more disciplined. I enjoy doing it and it’s my life.

“It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”

Meanwhile, Albion manager Chris Hughton, first-team coach Paul Nevin, and players Pascal Gross, Markus Suttner and Laura Rafferty visited the Blue Fin Ward at Worthing Hospital.