Sky Sports is currently running a series called ‘Captains’ Letters’ across its platforms in the UK and Ireland.
In the series it is inviting all national captains of men’s and women’s sports teams to write an open letter to mark the global crisis we are living through right now.
Here is the open letter penned by Northern Ireland senior men’s team captain Steven Davis:
I am fortunate to be a professional footballer, playing at a high level, however like most people I have a daily routine.
My typical day usually involves training, conditioning, gym work and team meetings. And, of course, I also get to play football matches for a living. And I know I am in a privileged position in doing that.
However, right now everyone’s routine has gone out the window due to Covid-19.
Apart that is from essential workers around the globe. For them each day is overwhelming. Their workloads have increased sharply, the pressure is intense, and it’s not going to ease any time soon.
While the majority of us are working from home, tens of thousands are out there on the front line, whether it’s NHS workers, delivery drivers, supermarket staff or those working in food outlets.
I applaud them all, especially those working in our hospitals and those testing for the virus who are putting their own health on the line to help others. They are true heroes.
Naturally, like any sportsperson, I miss being out on the pitch, the banter in the changing room, the joy of victory, however I am a father with a wife and young children plus a wider family circle – and I know that in these unprecedented times sport does not matter.
Fans love to support their teams, whether it’s football teams, rugby teams or other teams, and they also love to support individual sportspeople such as golfers and tennis players, but right now the most important thing is to support each other and the authorities so we can fight back against coronavirus.
My heart goes out to those around the world who have already lost loved ones, to those who have contracted the virus and to those who are anxious that the virus may affect them and their families, friends and neighbours.
And I also feel for people who, through no fault of their own, fear they may have no job to return to once the situation calms down.
Many are also feeling lonely so please pick up the phone if you can and stay in touch with friends, family and neighbours – or use the internet and social media for social interaction. We all need our spirits lifted in difficult times.
This is a serious situation, a global pandemic, and I would urge everyone to follow the rules set by the Government and health authorities. These rules are in place for a reason. They are aimed at minimising the spread of this horrible disease and battling against it.
Stay safe and stay at home if you can. If you do have to leave your home please follow the rules on social distancing. And remember to wash your hands thoroughly as often as you can.
Together we can fight back against Covid-19.