Some of the nation’s top footballers, managers, cricket and basketball players are casting aside their rivalries to unite in supporting the NHS #StayHomeSaveLives social media campaign.
The online messages began last night with England manager Gareth Southgate, who said: “Life is very different for us all at the moment and sport rightfully stands aside to support a more important cause during these unprecedented times.”
And Sterling and Houghton will add their voices to the campaign on Saturday from 3pm – the traditional kick-off time for domestic matches.
The stars hope to help reinforce the advice from medics and scientists for everyone - particularly those at greatest risk - to stay at home in order to limit the spread of coronavirus and save more lives.
Discussing the campaign, Houghton said: Whilst so many of us love watching and playing football and sport in general, it’s not important at the moment, everybody is adapting to new situations and although it’s different and difficult, we are seeing the best in people, communities supporting one another by dropping off shopping, picking up prescriptions and people reaching out through apps to talk and support each other.
"Thursday’s show of support for the NHS shows how much we appreciate them and how we are all coming together to get through this as quickly and as safely as we can, football will return and we will appreciate it a little more for the joy it brings but for now Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.”
Players from Premier League and EFL clubs have already shown their support for the NHS during the crisis by providing facilities for medical use and as accommodation for NHS staff, supporting foodbanks, transporting food and medicines, and calling the most vulnerable members of society.
This week has seen the public rally behind the NHS with over an incredible 700,000 people signing up to volunteer to help the NHS.
As the nation enters a crucial stage in trying to manage the coronavirus, it’s vital the public does their bit to help the NHS by staying at home.
The latest Government advice makes it clear that everybody should stay at home and:
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands more regularly, and for 20 seconds