American Football

Scottish soccer club’s expression of thanks to NHS is very close to the heart

It's an easy emotion to feel toward the health workers putting themselves in danger on the front lines of the coronavirus fight. Expressing that gratitude, at least sufficiently, can be more difficult. For one Scottish soccer club, the message of thanks to those battling COVID-19 will be conveyed in a center-stage fashion for the entire 2020-21 season. Hibernian announced it will have the message "Thank You NHS" emblazoned on the front of the jerseys players will wear next season, whenever it gets underway. The message will replace the Edinburgh club's promotion of its community foundation this season, in the area of the jerseys where other clubs often have outside advertisement. Over 100 NHS staff have died in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.The move displays the "character and purpose of Hibernian Football Club," according to the club's owner and chairman, Ronald Gordon. "In sport we celebrate our heroes and our stars. The NHS have shown they are our true heroes and our stars — they have valiantly cared for and nurtured us through the most difficult and challenging health crisis of our lives," he said in a club statement. "Their efforts on behalf of all of us, which still continue today, have been magnificent, and Hibernian wants to say thank you and celebrate them in the most meaningful way that we can." In Scotland, there have been 9,038 people who have tested positive and 985 deaths. The kit will be on sale in July, with supporters being asked to pay $6.17 (£5) to have the transfer applied, with all profits being donated to the local NHS charity. On top of this, Hibernian's first home league game of the season will be "Thank You NHS Day," with NHS staff invited as guests. Throughout the upcoming season, the club plans to implement fundraising schemes for the NHS at home games as well as "donating a minimum of 100 tickets to NHS staff for all of our home matches." "The dedicated NHS workforce are under unprecedented pressure as they deal with the impact of the pandemic," Scotland's Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick, said. "I applaud the club for this wonderful idea — it highlights the positive impact football can have on a range of issues." READ: Men and women footballers experiencing 'glaring' rise in mental health issues during lockdown