England Women: Lionesses donate to #PlayersTogether to help NHS during coronavirus pandemic
England Women's football squad have donated to an initiative set up by Premier League players to support the NHS and other frontline staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lionesses made the announcement to donate to the fund - #PlayersTogether - on their personal social media accounts, led off by captain Steph Houghton.
The statement said: "After discussions with a number of Premier League players, we are delighted to confirm that the whole of the Lionesses squad will make a collective donation to the #PlayersTogether fund."
The fund was established after meetings between Premier League players including Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Manchester United's Harry Maguire to discuss the best way to help during the crisis and has partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT).
Professional footballers had come in for criticism for their response to the crisis, with health secretary Matt Hancock saying earlier this month that Premier League players should "take a pay cut and play their part".
However, after the initiative was announced, Hancock said he "warmly welcomed" the "big-hearted decision".
The Premier League's initial proposal for a 30% wage cut was dismissed by players as they wanted control over where the money was going,
In a statement - posted by more than 150 Premier League players on social media announcing the initiative - they said they were "collaborating together to create a voluntary initiative, separate to any other league and club conversation".
The intention, they said, was to "try and help, along with so many others in the country, to make a real difference".
The level of contributions has not been announced but the players said the initiative would help "quickly grant funds to the NHS frontline".