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Football League celebrates fans working on the NHS frontline

A paramedic Oxford fan and midwife follower of Bristol City were amongst those celebrated.

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Football fans on the frontline of the response to the coronavirus pandemic have been celebrated by loved ones and the Football League.

The EFL called on fans to share the NHS heroes close to them, along with the football club they support, so the league could thank them publicly.

Chris Chesterman nominated his 23-year-old daughter Chloe Chesterman, an Oxford fan who works in Brighton as a paramedic.

“Both my wife (Serena) and son (Adam) are extremely proud of our daughter Chloe and her work colleagues,” Chris Chesterman told the PA news agency.

“NHS workers do not choose their career for recognition and praise, they are drawn from a deep feeling to help others, and it can be very hard, both physically and mentally, with a lot of their patients facing very tough times.”

Chris Chesterman, 50, is a member of the medical team at Oxford and is joined regularly by doctors and paramedics on matchdays.

Oxford fan Chloe Chesterman (Chloe Chesterman)

“We know that these colleagues are currently working on the front line, and all have our full respect and are in the thoughts of everyone at the club,” he added.

“The English football environment is often described as a family… this gesture from the EFL helps to strengthen the bond between football and fans.”

Joshua Britt put forward his Bristol City-supporting girlfriend Kate McManus, 24, a midwife at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

“Kate was absolutely over the moon when she had seen the EFL and Bristol City Football Club had tweeted about her, it’s a small gesture that just means so much to her and it’s so nice to see a smile on her face,” Britt told PA.

“I’m so very proud of her for what she does.

“It’s so important that we continue to support and praise our NHS staff across the board to try and keep and maintain high morale levels at such a stressful time.”

London physiotherapist and Sunderland fan Bekah Arkle, 24, was nominated by her younger sister Holly.

“Bekah is fighting on the frontline… she’s clearing patients’ chests to enable them to breathe better, rehabilitating patients to get their independence back, plus helping doctors and nurses with daily patient care,” Holly Arkle, 23, told PA.

“Bek has worked really hard to get where she is and our family are all so proud of her.

“She is currently over 50 miles away from us in London, we miss her and can’t wait to be reunited with her when this is all over.

“My sister and I have spent decades supporting our football club… We all miss football, so the EFL’s campaign is a great opportunity to stay connected and show thanks to our amazing healthcare professionals in this uncertain time.”