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Toni Rudiger’s hospital ball

Toni Rudiger, pictured, has made a farewell visit to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (Mike Egerton/PA)
Toni Rudiger, pictured, has made a farewell visit to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (Mike Egerton/PA)

Toni Rudiger made a surprise farewell visit to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital this week.

The Chelsea defender will join Real Madrid this summer on a free transfer, after five years at Stamford Bridge.

The Germany defender has been a staunch supporter of the NHS and his local hospital during his time at Chelsea, and made another visit this week before he departs west London this summer.

Rudiger spent an afternoon at the hospital, delivering presents, signing autographs and meeting patients on the site’s wards.

“I’ve fully enjoyed visiting Chelsea and Westminster Hospital now and over the years,” said Rudiger.

“It’s always been important to me to come out into the community and show my support, and once again it’s been a real pleasure to meet both patients and staff who are such an inspiration.

“The hospital and staff are incredible and work tirelessly to deliver the best possible care – thank you for everything you do – I will miss you all!”

The visit was organised by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation and its official charity CW+.

Rudiger visited paediatric wards and also met staff from the Adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU), in just his latest visit to the hospital that he has attended regularly during his time with the Blues.

Chelsea v Brentford – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Toni Rudiger is Real Madrid-bound (PA)

“We would like to say a big thank you to Toni for his time today and for his support and generosity over the years,” said Chelsea and Westminster Hospital director Dominic Conlin.

“There has been a real buzz around the hospital and it means so much to the staff to know that Toni has supported them.

“The visit has especially brightened up the day of our younger patients and their families.

“It’s such a boost for them to meet one of their heroes and be inspired, and it makes a real difference to their care and experience.”