Sporting stars will honour NHS frontline staff and other key workers

Stars of football, cricket and rugby union will pay tribute to the workers who have kept the country going throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the ‘Thank You Together’ initiative, all of this weekend’s Premier League and English Football League matches will be preceded by a moment’s applause in a gesture towards NHS staff and other key workers.

The England cricket team’s forthcoming series against the West Indies will also be named the #raisethebat Test Series while rugby union head coach Eddie Jones and his England players will record personal thank you messages.

The initiative encourages the whole country to applaud “the commitment, courage and sacrifice shown by so many” on their doorsteps at 5pm on Sunday, the 72nd birthday of the NHS.

Workers, from bus drivers and refuse collectors to social care staff and teachers, will also be thanked for their support.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League will support the NHS and its moment of thanks to recognise the efforts of the health workers, key workers and all those who have shown kindness and care to others during these months.”

Bill Sweeney, chief executive officer of the Rugby Football Union added: “Rugby, like the wider sporting community and the nation as a whole, is extremely grateful to and proud of all those who have worked tirelessly through this pandemic going above and beyond to support local communities and the NHS.

“We have been inspired by many stories across the country showing spirit and resilience in these challenging times to ensure that we will come through this together and emerge stronger.”

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