Coronavirus and football: Brighton start Premier League clubs giving tickets to NHS workers

The Amex Stadium

Brighton have kicked off a club-to-club baton for donating future match tickets to frontline NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The Seagulls announced on Tuesday they have decided to donate 1,000 tickets to workers battling the crisis and have invited others in the Premier League, English Football League, Scotland and Northern Ireland to do the same when football resumes.

Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said: "We are working on a range of things across all areas of the community and I hope this will just be the start.

"We fully appreciate football is the last thing on anyone's minds at this moment, but we feel this is a small way in which we can show our gratitude for those NHS staff on the frontline who are fighting the battle on behalf of all those and give them something to look forward to."

Barber suggested a club-to-club baton system and nominated south-coast rivals Bournemouth as the next in line.

Cherries chairman Jeff Mostyn was keen to rise to the challenge, saying: "We are absolutely delighted to match Brighton's gesture and commit to 1,000 tickets, and we will pass the baton to another club with the aim of reaching a significant target so football as a whole can show its appreciation for our country's NHS workers."

Watford have offered the use of their Vicarage Road stadium to the nearby Watford General Hospital for a range of NHS purposes.

"We need to forget football right now and concentrate on doing all we can to support the NHS, and in particular, Watford General Hospital," Hornets chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury said in a joint statement announcing the move.

"Our proximity as a football club next door to a hospital puts us in a great position to offer help and we're keen to do whatever we possibly can to support NHS staff and their families."

Tottenham have revealed they will take part in the Clap For Our Carers campaign on Thursday.

A social media campaign is growing momentum, asking people to applaud the efforts of NHS staff at 8pm tomorrow night.

Spurs said on Twitter: "Tomorrow night at 8pm, we are proudly taking part in the #ClapForOurCarers campaign, encouraging people across the country to applaud the efforts of our @NHS during these challenging times.

"Please join us and share your photos and videos!"

Former Tottenham and England striker Clive Allen is currently in self-isolation after testing positive for the virus.

The 58-year-old was laid low earlier this month, where he suffered with headaches, fever and a dry cough before getting a test in his home.

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