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Sir Alex Ferguson praises UK medical staff as Man United offer Old Tafford amid coronavirus crisis

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Manchester United are ready to offer Old Trafford to the National Health Service for use during the coronavirus pandemic, while former manager Sir Alex Ferguson has praised the spirit of the country's medical workers.

The 76,000-seater stadium has been placed on a reserve list as a possible blood donation centre following talks with the NHS.

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Ferguson, who has experienced first-hand the care, skill and dedication of the NHS, underlined his admiration and appreciation for the service and its staff.

He said: "I'm delighted we are now recognising the importance of our NHS -- as I experienced two years ago after they saved my life -- the response to this pandemic has been magnificent and has made me proud of the way the club and the British people have rallied round to help. Well Done."

The club have also made 16 vehicles available to support courier operations and sent more than 3,500 gifts to health service workers.

"The NHS staff and the volunteers fighting the virus are putting themselves at risk to keep everybody safe and doing a truly amazing job," manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

"They deserve thanks and praise from everybody for their work and their efforts every single day."

United have already donated protective equipment from their matchday supplies to Salford Royal Hospital while also encouraging staff who have reduced workloads because of the pandemic to volunteer for the NHS while they are still paid their full salary by the club.

Captain Harry Maguire, who co-ordinated the United player response to the #PlayersTogether initiative, added: "On behalf of all the players, our thoughts are with all those that have been affected by this terrible virus.

"It has been heart warming to see the nation come together to show their appreciation to the NHS and other critical workers. By working together we will get through this and let's hope we are stronger for it."


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