Hibernian Football Club will display the words 'Thank you NHS' on their shirts at Scottish Premiership matches next season
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SCOTTISH Premiership football club Hibernian will bear the words 'Thank you NHS' on their shirts next season to show gratitude for medical efforts made during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Edinburgh outfit will also invite hundreds of NHS workers to their next match at their Easter Road ground as part of a 'Thank You NHS Day'.
Club chairman Ronald Gordon explained: "In sport we celebrate our heroes and our stars. The NHS have shown they are our true heroes and our stars – they have valiantly cared for and nurtured us through the most difficult and challenging health crisis of our lives.
"Their efforts on behalf of all of us, which still continue today, have been magnificent and Hibernian wants to say thank you and celebrate them in the most meaningful way that we can."
Hibs said they spoke to senior management at both NHS Scotland and NHS Lothian, where their suggestion of a show of gratitude on the club's green and white shirts was warmly received.
The club will work in partnership with NHS Lothian and Hibernian Community Foundation to deliver "a layer of meaningful communications, engagement and community service".
A club spokesperson added: "The words of thanks will adorn our new home shirts, and supporters will be asked to pay the sum of £5 to have the transfer applied, with all profits being donated to our local NHS charity, Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation."
Hibernian also plan to do further fund-raising throughout the season and expects to hand over a six-figure donation to the NHS charity by the end of the season.
They are also donating a minimum of 100 tickets to NHS staff for all of their home matches next season, with fans being invited to participate in fund-raising to help fund more.
Mr Gordon added: "The club and our players will be working with our friends and colleagues at NHS Lothian to deliver a programme of health promotion and community service that will raise awareness and inform our entire community.
"I’m very proud, because this inititiative speaks to the character and purpose of Hibernian Football Club.”
Scotland’s Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe FitzPatrick said: “The dedicated NHS workforce are under unprecedented pressure as they deal with the impact of the pandemic.
"I welcome this excellent initiative by Hibernian FC, which will allow the club and its supporters to say thank you to the NHS.
"As well as joining Hibs in thanking the NHS staff, I applaud the club for this wonderful idea – it highlights the positive impact football can have on a range of issues.”
Hibs' chief executive Leeann Dempster added: “Our front-of-shirt sponsorship is our most visible and valuable sponsorship opportunity and we thought this season of all seasons we needed to show our appreciation to the NHS.
"For the avoidance of any doubt, this initiative does not cost the public purse one penny. It has been helped enormously by a small group of supporters who supported us in the idea and we are grateful to them all.”
The new Hibernian FC home kit is available to pre-order here from 10am on Friday April 24.
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