The 32 year old French defender was doing the rounds at a local hospital, because apparently footballers are just allowed to wander around the corridors of these institutions with absolutely no hassle. Having overcome liver cancer himself, Abidal was particularly taken with one 15 year old boy suffering with cancer, and donated his own watch to the boy. His father said:
Now I'd just like to put this out there - as genuinely nice a gesture as this is, I don't think footballers are a better cure for anything than actual medicine. I tried to help my friend out in hospital by getting ex-Aberdeen and Scotland keeper Jim Leighton to visit him but he just started screaming "NOO IT'S NOT MY TIME YET!!!!". Jim tried to pass on his Casio watch as a caring gesture but my friend just shouted "I DON'T WANT YOUR DOOMSDAY CLOCK!".“It was impossible to get Eric to take the watch back. He told me: ‘It doesn’t matter what this is worth. I want your son to be happy.”“He embraced all of us and continued his visit to other sick children. I looked at my son, and I will never forget the look of happiness in his face. I’d forgotten what he looked like when he was happy. At night he kept switching on the light to look at the watch’s inscription.“The visit of the players improved the spirit of the children more than any medicine. For my family the great idol will always be Eric Abidal; he is more than a player for us.” (Who Ate All The Pies?)
I say friend, I don't really know who that guy was. Did I mention it wasn't a hospital? I should probably have told Jim about those bits first.