Christmas comes early in Marseille

17 dec 2013
Karim Haddouche
Photos © 
Yannick Parienti / 2013
Late in the afternoon, the OM players and staff visited the hospitalised children at La Timone, just as they have done every year for the last decade. Another emotional and enriching moment for players and children alike.



Just after 17:00, the sun sets over Marseille. The Marseille team bus is idling outside the team traning centre. On by one the players climb aboard along with the coaching staff. But there's no match today, no aeroplane to catch. The entire team is heading to the La Timone hospital to visit the children.
The aim is to help the kids forget, even for just a moment, why they are in hospital, bring them a little joy and comfort as they fight an illness that keeps them from their homes. A little Christmas dream, because every child has the right to a little Christmas magic. Even on a hospital bed... Especially on a hospital bed.

Les Olympiens didn't come empty handed. They all pitched in to buy gifts for the kids at La Timone: computer games, tablets… and the club also chipped in with posters, key-rings, post cards and magnets. The entire club was involved, not least president Vincent Labrune, for whom the club's charity work is especially important.


Night has settled over Marseille. No-one saw the time fly by. For the last two hours the players have been walking the corridors of the La Timone hospital with arms laden with gifts. Now it's time to return to the Robert-Louis Dreyfus after one last photo with the Graines 2 Tournesols charity workers who helped organize the visit. For the kids, it's time for bed, their hearts and minds filled with wonder and magic after the visit. This year, Christmas came a little early. Father Christmas swapped his red coat and sleigh for the blue and white of OM...