This coronavirus crisis has revealed one positive fact – that no matter what your political persuasion, your religious beliefs or which football team you support, this pandemic is affecting everyone on the planet in one way or another.
We’re all in this together. Which is why Manchester United have changed the illuminated sign outside their Old Trafford stadium which bears the club’s name so that it reads MANCHESTER UNITED – NHS United.
The emblem and the stadium of a football club is mighty influential and speaks volumes. Which is why this “UNITED NHS” message is so powerful.
It’s a spectacular nod to our NHS which unites both red and blue halves of Manchester’s footballing world. A football city united by a class touch from Manchester United.
And Old Trafford will be lit up bright blue tonight to pay tribute to the tireless work of NHS staff, coinciding with the 8pm ‘clap for carers’.
A spokesperson for the independent Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) said: “It’s a superb gesture from the club to show support for the NHS and join in the many displays of affection and support for all those on the frontline fighting against the virus that we have seen across the city in the recent weeks.
“Many fans and supporters have shared the images of Old Trafford far and wide around the world which also shows the support from the club’s fans for the efforts that the club have made recently to support not only the NHS but various causes that are in need of extra support during this crisis.”
This isn’t the first time Manchester has united for a greater cause. United and City recently made a combined £100,000 donation to support Greater Manchester’s food banks amid rising demand.
Food donations are usually provided on match days through the fan-run United Foodbank and City fans’ Foodbank Support, but with large gatherings and football matches currently suspended, the clubs have stepped in with a financial donation after working with the respective fan groups.
The fan groups have also launched a joint fund that will also support the 19 food banks across Greater Manchester. The groups have been asking both Reds and Blues to donate to the fund which has raised £11k to date.
Details of how to donate can be found here.