Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to host NHS staff football match

General view from inside the ground before the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

General view from inside the ground before the Premier League match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Issue date: Sunday May 2, 2021. - Credit: PA

Tottenham Hotspur and its Global Principal Partner, AIA, have donated use of the pitch at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to two of the Club’s local hospitals for a staff football match on Monday.

The donation is the Club and AIA’s way of thanking local NHS heroes who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.

Mixed teams representing North Middlesex University Hospital and Whittington Hospital will take to the pitch wearing Tottenham Hotspur shirts.

The teams will be managed by Club legends Gary Mabbutt and Ossie Ardiles, and receive warm-up drills led by members of the Club’s Global Coaching team that work across a Player Development Programme delivered in partnership with AIA in Asia.

Both hospitals have received support from the Club and its partners during the pandemic, with North Mid hosting vital services at the stadium throughout.

In April last year, the hospital moved its Women’s Outpatient Services to the stadium to support the redirection of pregnant women away from the hospital during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Over 41,500 appointments were delivered at the stadium up until the end of July that year, with drive-through COVID-19 testing taking place in the stadium’s basement car park for hospital staff and their families until February, 2021.

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The Club also donated £100,000 of ring-fenced player fine monies to support the hospital’s ‘Thank You’ initiative for staff, as well as hosting its Virtual Staff Awards at the stadium in March.

Throughout the pandemic, heroic staff at both hospitals have received gifts and products from Club partners and suppliers including Cadbury, Monster Energy, Smartfish and HP to support their work and keep spirits high.

Last week, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made a video call to staff on S2 Ward at North Mid to celebrate International Nurses Day.

Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur, said: “It is fitting that the final action we see on the pitch before fans return in greater numbers next season should be a tribute to those that have helped so many of us through this incredibly challenging time.

“The staff at our local hospitals are true heroes who we owe a great deal to and the Club and AIA are honoured to provide this special opportunity as a ‘thank you’ for their hard work throughout the pandemic.

“We hope that all involved enjoy their day – I would say ‘may the best team win’ but both teams are winners regardless of the result.”

Adrian New, Director of Football Initiatives, AIA Group, said: “AIA is proud to be the Principal Partner of Tottenham Hotspur and to recognise the wonderful work that the Club, North Middlesex Hospital and Whittington Hospital have done in their communities to combat the impact of Covid-19.”

Dr Andy Heeps, Interim Chief Executive, North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, said: “The Club has supported us and the local community in many ways throughout the pandemic and we’re pleased to have now been given this fantastic opportunity.

“Following an incredibly tough year, the chance for some of our staff to play within the iconic grounds of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and be managed by a football legend will provide them with a well-deserved break.

“We look forward to seeing our friends from the Whittington on the pitch!”

Kevin Curnow, Director of Finance (and team captain!), Whittington Health, said: “Team Whittington Health has had a tough season this year and the players and everyone here are looking forward to ending the season on high. We work amazingly well with our colleagues at North Middlesex but the (surgical) gloves are coming off for this encounter!

“The dedication from all members of the squad has been inspirational in the last week. The team have been in training all week, swapping bedpans for bleep tests and stethoscopes for shinpads. I am extremely proud of them. We are counting down the minutes until kick-off.”