Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has written an open letter to fans urging them to “respect and protect” NHS workers by following the Government’s coronavirus stay-at-home guidelines.

The Italian, who earlier this week surprised one 52-year-old man with motor neurone disease who is in self-isolation with a personal call, also stressed the health and safety of people was “the number one priority in order to win this fight”.

For more than a week the club’s charity, Everton in the Community, has been proactive in reaching out to vulnerable members of the fanbase, asking if they require assistance with things like shopping.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Contact has also been maintained with people whom the programme has been helping with acute social issues, mental health and youth engagement.

“I am writing to you today, not as the manager of your football club but as a man who cares very deeply for the wellbeing and safety of you, your family, your friends and everybody you hold dear,” said Ancelotti.

“We have to make sure the health and safety of people is our number one priority in order to win this fight – and we will win this fight. We have to.

“The amazing people in the NHS deserve the utmost respect for their hard work and sacrifice. We can show them that respect by doing everything we can to protect them.

“We all love Everton, and football will return, but for now every precaution has to be taken to prevent the spread of a virus that is highly contagious and killing people across the world, across the country and in our communities.

“Please, stay home. Please, stay safe. Please, protect the NHS.”

PA

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