Sports stars join in show of support for NHS staff

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy was among the sporting stars who joined the rest of the UK in applauding NHS staff on Thursday.

Following an online campaign, people across the country came together to pay tribute to healthcare workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Vardy shared a video of himself clapping on his doorstep on Twitter, while Premier League leaders Liverpool described the frontline workers as "heroes" and published a personal message of thanks from manager Jurgen Klopp and members of the playing squad.

The official account of the England women's football team also posted a video of players joining in with the applause, and a host of clubs and players paid their own tributes.

Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris were shown clapping in a post by Tottenham, while Manchester United defender Harry Maguire described the tributes as "special".

Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: "Extraordinary togetherness and support across the country for our brave and brilliant NHS doctors, nurses and carers.

"Brings a tear to the eye. Wonderful. Thank you."

Outside football, the England and Wales Cricket Board said it was "so proud of everyone in the NHS and couldn't be more grateful for their bravery", while a number of players contributed to a video shared by the England rugby team's official account.

As well as the applause, a number of sporting venues, including Wembley, the Principality Stadium and Murrayfield were lit up as part of the gesture of thanks to NHS staff.