Academy starlets Brad Smith, Marc Pelosi and Samed Yesil put their own long-term injuries to one side to pay a visit to Alder Hey hospital on Thursday.

Accompanied by academy director Frank McParland, the duo toured Oncology and Neurology wards at the West Derby centre and spent time talking to the children receiving treatment there.

Liverpool FC has a strong bond with Alder Hey. In recent years, Academy players have made monthly trips to the hospital, which cares for more than 270,000 children from across the country each year.

That tradition will continue throughout 2013-14 - and education and welfare officer Clive Cook explained to why these regular visits are a vital part of Academy life.

"There was a moment today - when the boys arrived - that summed up why we go. One young lad was upset and he was in tears, but when he saw the players, his face lit up and he was delighted," said Clive.

"And that's what it's all about - even if it's just a quick five-minute conversation with our players, if it brightens up someone's day, then it's well worth it.

"From the point of view of our lads, the visit takes their mind of their own rehabilitation and just makes them realise how lucky they are."