The coronavirus pandemic is affecting millions around the globe, but it has brought out good deeds in some people.
In these troubling times, bright rays of sun shine can be seen through the clouds, as people go the extra mile to help out those on the frontlines of the battle against the virus.
Footballers are no different, and some Premier League stars have been doing all they can to assist by making brilliant gestures – some of which you can read about, below…
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford announced recently that he was working with the charity FareShare to help distribute food for children who rely on schools for their daily meals.
The 22-year-old has so far raised over a superb £20million for the cause.
Rashford has been stunned by the response to his appeal, with Tesco donating food worth £15m, Asda pledging £2.5m in cash and The Co-Op also providing £1.5m in food donations.
As well as the leading supermarkets, Pret A Manger and Pizza Express have also contributed, while an incredible £160,000 has come from donations from the public.
Rashford, who has worked with FareShare for 12 months, has revealed he grew up on free school meals and said he was left concerned that up to 600,000 children would go hungry due to the closure of schools.
Former Liverpool, Chelsea and West Ham star Joe Cole has helped set up a new charity with his wife to help provide equipment and funds for the NHS.
Cole has donated £25,000 of his own money to launch, ‘Heroes – Help Them Help Us’, which has helped purchase 50 3D printers to build thousands of medical visors for frontline NHS staff.
They have also sent food packages to NHS workers, are providing childcare and offering therapy to healthcare workers on the frontline of this crisis.
Overall, the charity has received over £180,000 in donations from the public.
Neymar has made a donation of almost £800,000 [5m Brazilian reals] to aid the battle against the disease.
He split his donation between UNICEF and a solidarity fund created in his homeland of Brazil, but did it privately as he did not want to promote himself.
This is according to Brazilian present Chris Flores, who told UOL: “Neymar donated R$5m to fight COVID.
“He made this donation at the beginning of last week. Part of it went to UNICEF, and part to that solidarity fund that was created by artists.
“He preferred not to publicly disclose [the donation], so we’re telling everyone, because as soon as we pull the ear, we also talk when the person does something nice.
“We have this information, I brought it to you. We really think it’s a very cool, very positive attitude, and one that serves as an incentive for other sportsmen, for other personalities.”
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has been lending a helping hand to the local community while the football season is suspended.
The coronavirus outbreak across the world has seen the Premier League and EFL suspended until at least April 30, with no guarantees it will resume on that date.
Mourinho has been using his time to volunteer so elderly people in the Enfield are have got all the items they need while they stay indoors.
The Spurs boss was pictured and filmed putting together care packages at Age UK and Love Your Doorstep’s base, near Tottenham’s training ground, on Monday.
“I am here to help Age UK Enfield, Love Your DoorStep Enfield and of course you can donate food, money or be a volunteer,” Mourinho said in a video posted by Love Your DoorStep’s Twitter account.
Pep Guardiola has donated £920,000 [€1million] to help provide medical equipment in the fight against coronavirus in Spain.
The Manchester City boss has been keen to help and has been working with his lawyers over the last few days on how best to use the money.
He has now decided it will go to a campaign being promoted by the Medical College of Barcelona and the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation.
Spain is one of the worst-hit countries in Europe and the money will be used to help buy medical equipment and protective material for hospital staff in Catalonia.
Birmingham skipper Harlee Dean has revealed on talkSPORT why he’s decided to take a pay cut for the remainder of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “We have been asked the question – I spoke to the CEO Dong [Xuandong Ren] and it’s not a collective decision, it’s an individual one so everybody is different everybody has got their own personal situation.
“Some people can help and some people can’t help, it’s just the nature of the beast.
“Personally for me I am going to help because I can and I feel like we should.
“I am not going to go into the personals about it but it’s something along those lines and it’s just anything we can do to help the club out.
“For me, me not doing it and somebody in the club I know who works in admin or something like that, if they got laid off for the sake of me not doing it that doesn’t really sit well with me.”
Moise Kean made Mother’s Day extra special for one Everton fan with a heart-warming phone call.
Jayne O’Toole, who is a Toffees season ticket holder, is in remission from cancer and currently self-isolating to protect her immune system due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms O’Toole hasn’t been able to get to Goodison Park much this season and also wasn’t able to get out to celebrate Mother’s Day as well.
Kean, 20, made sure it was a day to remember with a phone call to wish her well and also promised Everton shirts for her young children.
“Jayne, we know you are going through a difficult moment so I want to wish you all the best,” he said.
“Be strong. Everything is going to be okay, just keep going and I wish you all the best. A good Mother’s Day to you.”
Zaha, the Crystal Palace forward, on Friday morning offered to open up 50 properties in London to NHS staff working round the clock to tackle the pandemic.
The Ivory Coast international is a co-owner of ZO Properties, which has a portfolio of rental accommodation usually offered to business travellers, with properties in Notting Hill, Shoreditch and Aldgate.
Zaha on Twitter urged ‘health workers please reach out’ as he shared a post from fellow co-owner Obi Williams which announced the offer to provide housing.
The Liverpool and Scotland full-back is said to have made a huge donation to help SIX foodbanks in his hometown of Glasgow survive.
Glasgow NE Foodback, which is based near Celtic’s Parkhead stadium, posted on Twitter to ‘thank the Scottish footballer who donated a large sum to the food banks, including us’.
More than 53,000 meals have been provided to locals by Glasgow NE Foodbank, with the donation also helping out Glasgow SW Foodbank, Glasgow NW Foodbank, Glasgow SE Foodbank, Rutherglen & Cambuslang Foodbank and East Renfrewshire Foodbank.
Robertson is hugely generous with his charity work but prefers to remain out of the limelight, with no confirmation he is the player to have made the sizeable donation.
However, The Times say the unidentified benefactor was indeed the 26-year-old, who was born in Glasgow and began his career with Celtic.
Jordan Henderson and the entire Liverpool squad
In a similar vein, Robertson will also be making a donation to the North Liverpool Foodbank following a pledge from Reds skipper Jordan Henderson.
Roughly 25 per cent of donations to the foodbank come from matchday collections, but with all football suspended until at least April 30 there no matchdays coming up – and that means no collections
The Liverpool first-team squad have stepped in to help out, however, by making a joint pledge with LFC Foundation to donate £10,000 for every remaining home game the Reds are due to play this season, with four matches resulting in a total £40,000 donation.
Liverpool as a club are also making a cash donation to North Liverpool Foodbank, while excess food at Anfield and the Melwood training ground will be donated, too.
Manchester United forward Rashford has partnered with FareShare, a charity which fights hunger by redistributing surplus food to frontline charities across the UK.
He wanted to ensure no child would miss out on a meal following the official closure of schools last Friday, especially as many children eat just one hot meal a day – the one provided to them at school
Rashford wrote on Twitter: “I wanted to understand the scale of the problem and how we can reach vulnerable children. It’s not just schools. It’s community centres, breakfast clubs, etc that provide the only meal many kids get each day. No child should have to worry where their next meal is coming from.”
Tottenham defender Alderweireld has pledged to donate tablets to hospitals and nursing homes to help sick people stay in touch with family and friends during the pandemic.
With social distancing measures in place people have had to restrict their interactions with friends and family, especially elderly people who are one of the most at-risk groups.
“I hope everyone is following the government measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” said Alderweireld in a social media video. “The virus creates many needs, especially the lack of personal contact.
“The people who are sick can’t see their friends and family.
“My plan is to buy dozens of tablets to give to the hospitals and nursing homes so people can video chat with their loved ones and friends to get through this tough period.
“I’m trying to get those tablets to the places where they can help.”
Villa’s Spanish midfielder has helped out in the fight against coronavirus in his homeland by donating 3,500 pairs of sterile gloves for police and medical personnel to use.
According to reports in Spain, he has also ensuring that food is distributed to families and hospital workers in the city of Vigo.
Jota was born nearby in the Galician town of A Pobra do Caramiñal and progressed through Celta de Vigo’s youth academy to their first-team.
Spain is currently on lockdown and the country closed its borders last Monday to slow the spread of the virus.
Entire Burnley squad
Like Liverpool, the Burnley squad have stepped in to help out a local foodbank that was likely to struggle during the pandemic.
A collective donation has been made by the Clarets players, with the club themselves then matching the donation to a foodbank located in the Burnley Community Kitchen.
Ben Mee, the Burnley captain, said: “We know there are going to be difficult times for people and their families with regards work and income.
“The club is behind people in the community, as the players are. The boys wanted to do their bit to help out. And if there is a need for other things we will look at that, as well.”
The foodbank was expected to struggle throughout the pandemic as matchday collections at Turf Moor will no longer take place with all football suspended.
Pogba, the Manchester United midfielder, set up a fundraising page on his 27th birthday to raise money to help the fight against coronavirus.
He pledged to support UNICEF to help children affected by COVID-19 and said he would double the fund if the £27,000 goal is reached.
“It’s my birthday and I’m always grateful that me, my family and friends are healthy,” wrote Pogba on social media. “Nonetheless, not everybody is in good health right now.
“The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting the health and lives of many, including children. The impact of a large-scale outbreak, especially on poor and vulnerable children, can be immense.
“Unicef is helping prevent the spread of #Coronavirus by supplying vital medical supplies, consulting with communities and implementing prevention campaigns. It is a priority to stop the spread of this new virus, and the misinformation that’s spreading alongside it.
“At times like this we need to come together.
“With your help, I am hoping today to raise £27,000 to help fight this war and I will double the amount if we reach the goal.”
The money raised will go towards providing disposable gloves, surgical masks and vented goggles for medical staff.
Foxes goalkeeper Schmeichel made a £20,000 donation to Age UK as the charity launched the Covid Care initiative in Leicester.
The campaign sees elderly people, among the most vulnerable in society, brought care packages and contacted by phone and with home visits with over-70s encouraged to self-isolate amid the pandemic.
“Now more than ever charities like Age UK need our help,” said Schmeichel. “Let’s do all we can to protect our elderly.”
The charity added: “We’ve just taken a call from the amazing Kasper Schmeichel who is donating a hugely generous £20,000 to Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland to support our local response to the coronavirus.
“Kasper’s donation will bring care packages, phone calls and home visits to older people during this challenging time. What a kind, caring and community minded soul!
“Thank you Kasper from the older people of Leicestershire & Rutland.”