A group of former Wolves players and managers have joined together to support a fundraising drive to help front-line NHS workers who are tackling the Covid-19 pandemic in Wolverhampton.
Former captains Karl Henry and Danny Batth, and others including Matt Murray, Robbie Keane and Wayne Hennessey, are among those who have already pledged to donate to the appeal to help increase capacity at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital, while former bosses Mick McCarthy and Glenn Hoddle, and Chief Executive Jez Moxey, are also supporting the campaign.
More former players, managers and staff are being encouraged to donate where possible, along with the club’s supporters, which follows a substantial six-figure donation from the current Wolves squad and staff to the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust which was announced yesterday.
The Wolves Former Players Association have helped get the campaign going with a donation of £5,000 to the fund.
Henry, who is an ambassador of Wolves Foundation, was brought up in Ashmore Park in Wolverhampton having been born at New Cross.
He said: “The job NHS workers are doing at the moment is truly incredible, and the sacrifices they are making to keep us safe are nothing short of heroic.
“When I heard that New Cross Hospital needed to increase their capacity to fight the Covid-19 virus, I immediately wanted to help.
“I spent a lot of my childhood in and out of that hospital receiving Asthma treatment which was second to none, so like so many Wulfrunians, I have a lot to thank them for.
“I had a chat with a number of former Wolves players, coaches, managers, and other members of staff, who were all really keen to contribute.
“Many of those I spoke to are already heavily involved with their own charities and initiatives, but didn’t hesitate to pledge their support to the people of Wolverhampton as well.
“As a proud Ambassador of the Wolves Foundation, I know Fosun and the club have already done so much to help people affected, and the current players have made a fantastic donation to this appeal already.
“We just wanted to contribute to that effort and offer an opportunity for former players, staff and fans to help.”
Professor Steve Field, Chairman of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “I feel very humbled that so many Wolves players, coaches, managers and other staff, have come together to support us here at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
“It is wonderful how at this time of great pressure on all of our staff, that everyone is pulling together to help the people of Wolverhampton and the wider Black Country.
“I would like to give a big personal thanks on behalf of the Trust to everyone supporting us.”
Murray, who came through the Wolves’ Academy and went on to make 100 appearances in the first team, added: “Everyone who plays for or worked at Wolves knows just what a special club it is, and how important a role it plays in the community.
“We have also seen so many times how the club comes together to help people, and I am sure this will be no exception in supporting the fantastic NHS workers with what they need to give themselves the best possible chance of treating patients with the Coronavirus.
“Every donation will help, and I am sure supporters will also want to do their bit along with players and staff past and present, to raise as much as we can to help those who are working on the front-line in Wolverhampton.”
Murray and other former players such as John Richards, Steve Bull, Steve Daley, Willie Carr and Kenny Hibbitt have already been giving their time to help with the club’s Wolves At Home initiative, making telephone calls to elderly and vulnerable fans to check on their welfare during such a challenging time of isolation.
The Wolves Former Players Association, of which Richards is Vice-Chairman, had also been discussing further ways to support people at this time, and have provided a £5,000 donation to the fund.
They have also circulated details among members to encourage them to donate where possible.
“It is so important that all aspects of the football club come together to help those who need it at such a difficult time, and this is another great idea to support those from the NHS who are on the front-line putting themselves at risk,” says Richards.
“So many of us who loved playing for Wolves ended up living in the local area at the end of our careers, and will have made use of services from the NHS.
“I also know that several of the former players have family or friends who are involved in those front-line services, and it is only right that we now offer them the support and equipment they need to get this horrible virus under control.”
Richard Green, Manager of the Former Players Association added: “The Former Players Association have built up a proud reputation of supporting local charities, and, having unfortunately had to postpone this year’s annual fundraising dinner, we will be delighted to do what we can to support this vital initiative.
“I am sure all of our members will be keen to make a contribution, and show the togetherness and desire of everyone connected with Wolves to play their part in helping the NHS workers in Wolverhampton at such a difficult time.”
Anyone wishing to donate can CLICK HERE to support the new fundraising drive for NHS staff in Wolverhampton, with all donations – however big or small – crucial to make a difference.
Former players and managers are expected to donate anonymously on the page, but their names will be announced via social media, while it is important to point out that there may be former players who don’t contribute because they are involved in other fundraising activities linked to Covid-19.