Coronavirus: How EFL managers and players are helping communities and the NHS

Josh Murphy: Cardiff City winger joins delivery volunteers

As coronavirus dominates the news agenda and decimates the sporting calendar, some football clubs have come under fire for their response to the pandemic.

Debate continues to rage as to whether Premier League stars should take a pay cut as some clubs look to furlough non-playing staff.

However, top-flight clubs have been doing plenty of work in the community behind the scenes to help out.

And players and managers across the English Football League have been equally proactive as they seek to aid key workers and those saving lives on the frontline in the NHS.

BBC Sport takes a look at some of the work being done below the Premier League.

Delivering three points to delivering shopping

Prior to the shutdown of English football, Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook had turned his side's form around, leading them to a six-game unbeaten run and up to 20th in the Championship, two points clear of the relegation zone.

But the 53-year-old has now gone from delivering three points for his club to delivering shopping after signing up to be a supermarket delivery driver during the crisis.

"I thought it was quite an obvious and simple thing for me to try and do," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The best way for most people to help is to be active and do stuff. From a personal point of view, I felt being able to deliver for food chains might be best, especially for elderly people who are being asked to stay at home and might require a delivery."

As well as Cook's personal efforts, The Latics have also encouraged their playing staff to do their bit for the NHS.

"I've spoken to the players and the first reaction is to look after themselves and their families," he continued.

"Then more importantly we asked, is there anything more you can do to help others?"

Cook is not alone in becoming a delivery driver during the crisis.

Stevenage captain Scott Cuthbert's 'bread and butter' has been leading Boro's battle to avoid relegation from League Two in recent months.

But he and team-mate Paul Digby have joined forces to deliver sandwiches to the town's Lister Hospital and houses in the surrounding area, while Cardiff City's former Norwich winger Josh Murphy has been dropping off food packages to the elderly in his local community of Downham Market, Norfolk.

Raising spirits amongst NHS staff

Stoke City defender Danny Batth is used to seizing the initiative on the pitch for his club, but with the country under lockdown and no football to play, he is now doing his bit off the field.

The 29-year-old donated 300 parcels of food and toiletries to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley.

"It's my local hospital which was the main thing, but we knew there was a shortage of food for the NHS workers and there was a big expectancy on them to fight this virus around the clock," the former Wolves captain told BBC WM.

"We wanted to give them a bit of relief and raise their spirits."

Mansfield Town pair CJ Hamilton and Neal Bishop have both joined the NHS volunteer scheme during football's down time.

Hamilton put himself forward after spotting a notice on Instagram and is ready to do his bit.

"After seeing the poster, I signed up straight away - I was very interested in going out to help people in their time of need," he told the club's website.

"The last thing that the NHS staff need is for them to be running round, trying to sort out people's medicines, when people like me can take that duty off them.

"The staff in the hospitals can then focus on people's recoveries, getting people better and freeing up equipment for people that need it."

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