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PL stars launch #FootballUnited

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a man and a woman taking a selfie: Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of six players kicking off #FootballUnited © Getty Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of six players kicking off #FootballUnited

Premier League stars including Arsenal's Hector Bellerin and Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka have launched #FootballUnited - a new initiative with the aim of raising £100,000 to help local communities through the coronavirus pandemic.

Bellerin and Wan-Bissaka are joined by Chelsea's Reece James, Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend, and England striker Callum Wilson in pledging their support.

Proceeds donated to #FootballUnited will be collected by the National Emergencies Trust and used to support elderly and vulnerable people affected by COVID-19.

The players already driving forward this campaign want fellow professionals across the nation to follow suit and show their support for #FootballUnited.

Hector Bellerin wearing a blue shirt: Players involved in the #FootballUnited campaign are urging fellow professionals to get involved © Getty Players involved in the #FootballUnited campaign are urging fellow professionals to get involved

With players tagging social media campaign posts with the words #FootballUnited, it is hoped fellow team-mates and football figures will lend their support and drive donations to help communities across the UK recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The campaign is being co-ordinated by Unique Sports Management, after the idea was raised by several of its clients.

A joint statement on behalf of the players said: "Football has such a big role to play in communities and our clubs are a huge part of people's lives.

"Without football, we want to put our rivalries aside and show togetherness at such a critical moment for the country.

a group of people playing football on a field: Manchester United Women's Lauren James has pledged her support alongside her brother, Chelsea defender Reece © Getty Manchester United Women's Lauren James has pledged her support alongside her brother, Chelsea defender Reece

"These are uncertain times for communities, but as players we want to show some recognition for the incredible work that is being done for the most vulnerable."There are so many people at home who are afraid, alone and without full-time care.

"With the nation's help, we can show our support to the many volunteers and organisations who need funds to make sure vital food and medicine supplies will continue to be delivered during the crisis.

"As players we would love nothing more than to be out there playing in front of packed stadiums again, but that can wait - the most important thing right now is the future of the country and #FootballUnited is our way of showing some community spirit."

(Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) © Getty (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

Marlon Fleischman, managing director at Unique Sports Management, said: "At such an unprecedented time, we are proud to support our players striving to make positive change through #FootballUnited.

"Now is the time for the football community to show solidarity and work together to help those who need urgent help, resources and care.

"Working alongside the National Emergencies Trust, we hope that the #FootballUnited campaign will generate vital funds to reach those local communities and charities at the time when they need it most".

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

Related: Transfer Gossip [Read Sports]

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