United Kingdom

Premier League stars take part in final Clap for Carers to mark NHS's 72nd birthday

Premier League stars and match officials showed their appreciation with an applause for NHS staff and other key workers before kick-off ahead of the health service's 72nd birthday. 

As part of the 'Thank You Together' initiative, all of this weekend's Premier and English Football League matches are being preceded by a moment's applause to thank the NHS and key workers who have kept the country going during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 outbreak has been the greatest challenge the health service has ever faced since it was brought to life in 1948.

Football matches are being preceded with a moments applause to thank the NHS

It is to thank the NHS for their efforts during Covid-19 as well as mark their 72nd anniversary

Millions of staff have worked tirelessly to care for the many that have been impacted by the virus.

As the NHS marks its anniversary on Sunday, stars from across the world of cricket and rugby will also join the applause at 5pm.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said: 'It is great to see football, along with cricket and rugby, coming together with the NHS, on its birthday, to thank all the key workers with one big final nationwide clap. 

 'So, at 5pm this Sunday raise a glass, share a cuppa or, dare I say it, watch the football with your neighbours, friends or relatives.

'Applaud all those who are working so hard and sacrificing so much to keep us all going throughout this period.

'But think about how we can all help come together and start to build even better communities and a country we can be even more proud of.'

Norwich's defeat to Brighton was the first Premier League game to see the applause

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens welcomed the occasion and thanked those who kept the country running during the crisis. 

He said: 'As sport returns to our national life following this difficult lockdown period, it's both fitting and welcome that some of our top sports stars are helping thank frontline NHS staff who have been at the sharp end of our health service's amazing response to coronavirus.'    

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