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World of sport doing its bit to help the community during coronavirus outbreak

Watford and Stevenage have both outlined plans to help those in need.

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Watford have launched a new initiative (Mike Egerton/PA)

Watford have launched a new initiative (Mike Egerton/PA)

Watford have launched a new initiative (Mike Egerton/PA)

Watford have launched a campaign to help elderly and disabled fans who are forced to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is reported that over-70s will soon be told to self-isolate for an extended period as Britain battles the spread of the virus, while those who have symptoms of Covid-19 are also advised to remain in their homes for seven days.

Watford on Monday announced their ‘Hornets at Home’ initiative, which aims to connect fans who are prepared to help with those who need it most.

“The club will be writing to all of its elderly supporters and those with a disability, drawing information from its records held, offering the help of fellow Hornets fans,” read a statement.

“Assistance will also be made available to those who become house-bound through illness.

“So we’re making a general appeal to Watford fans who are in a position to help others to show our famed community ethos – embedded into the club by the late, great Graham Taylor OBE and Sir Elton John – and come forward with their offer to volunteer; whether that be chats on the phone, picking up shopping or some general maintenance tasks.”

Earlier on Monday, Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace outlined plans to make young players and other club resources available to help the community.

Even though Wallace concedes the Sky Bet League Two club may struggle to survive a long break from playing, he is determined to do what he can to help the most vulnerable in the local area.

“Starting immediately, we will start to work on the logistics of obtaining details of folks that will need help,” he told the club’s website.

To be honest, we have no idea how the club can survive for long whilst paying players and staff with no incomePhil Wallace

“We have kitchens we are not using, we have young players that can’t play football and we have an army of youngsters that, if asked and organised properly, would be willing to help distribute meals and obtain supplies.

“I intend to work with CEO Alex Tunbridge to make this happen.

“To be honest, we have no idea how the club can survive for long whilst paying players and staff with no income, but some of these folks have nobody to help them and we will make sure we’re there for them.”

England and Kent cricketer Sam Billings was also keen to offer his help to the community around Canterbury.

He wrote a message on Twitter saying: “Anyone in the Canterbury area who knows of someone, or they themselves needs their shopping done for them just shout… Reply and I’ll drop you a DM.”

Ireland cricket captain Andrew Balbirnie made a similar offer, tweeting: “No cricket for a while. So if anyone in Sandymount/Rathmines needs or knows of anyone who needs shopping/delivery done for them please feel free to get in touch.”

PA