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Premier League players and nurses

John Simkin

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Did you see the programme on C4 last night about the campaign to persuade Premier League players to donate a day's wages for a nurse's hardship fund. Here are the names of the players who agreed to join the campaign:

Arsenal – 3 players Theo Walcott, Thierry Henry, and Justin Hoyte

Aston Villa – 2 players Steven Davis, Ashley Young

Blackburn - 23 players including David Bentley and Morten Gamst Pedersen

Bolton - 22 players including Nicky Hunt and Kevin Nolan

Celtic – 1 player Neil Lennon

Charlton – 8 players Matt Holland, Luke Young, Hermann Hreidarsson, Ben Thatcher, Darren Ambrose, Darren Bent, Marcus Bent, Scott Carson

Chelsea - 0 players, donation from club to Mayday for Nurses Hardship fund

Everton - 8 players on board including Alan Stubbs

Fulham – 28 players, the entire first team squad Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Brown, Jimmy Bullard, Philippe Christanval, Simon Davies, Clint Dempsey, Papa Bouba Diop, Simon Elliott, Ahmad Elrich, Adam Federici, Heiðar Helguson, Claus Jensen, Collins John, Zat Knight, Jan Laštuvka, Brian McBride, Robert Milsom, Vincenzo Montella, Antti Niemi, Elliot Omozusi, Ian Pearce, Mark Pembridge, Franck Queudrue, Tomasz Radzinski, Liam Rosenior, Wayne Routledge, Alexey Smertin, Moritz Volz

Liverpool - 12 players Craig Bellamy, Jamie Carragher, Peter Crouch, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Mark Gonzalez, Harry Kewell, Dirk Kuyt, Jermaine Pennant, Pepe Reina, John Arne Riise, Bolo Zenden

Man City – 6 players Michael Ball, Joey Barton, Richard Dunne, Georgios Samaras, Nicky Weaver and Micah Richards

Man Utd – 2 players Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs

Middlesborough - 0 players, manager Gareth Southgate on board

Newcastle - 12 players Titus Bramble, Celestine Babayaro, Pavel Srnicek, Nicky Butt, Stephen Carr, Damien Duff, Shay Given, Stephen Harper, James Milner, Scott Parker, Peter Ramage, Nolberto Solano

Portsmouth – 1 player David James

Rangers – 2 players Gavin Rae and Barry Ferguson

Reading – 27 players, the entire first team squad Mikkel Anderson, Alan Bennett, Andre Bikey, Oliver Bozanic, Aaron Brown, Bobby Convey, Ulises de la Cruz, Kevin Doyle, Michael Duberry, Brynjar Gunnarsson, Marcus Hahnemann, Greg Halford, John Halls, James Harper, Stephen Hunt, Ívar Ingimarsson, Seol Ki-Hyeon, Dave Kitson, Leroy Lita, Glen Little, Shane Long, Péter Máté, Graeme Murty, John Oster, Nicky Shorey, Steve Sidwell, Ibrahima Sonko

Sheffield – 23 players

Spurs – 20 players including Paul Robinson and Jermaine Defoe

Watford – 28 players, the entire first team squad including Malky Mackay

West Ham - 26 players, the entire first team squad including Nigel Reo Coker

Wigan – 1 player Arjan de Zeeuw

Footballers are being asked to lead the way because they have a high profile and can therefore mobilize public support and grab our policy makers’ attention. But it is not their responsibility to safeguard Britain’s nurses in the long term – that has to be the responsibility of our government.

The money donated by footballers on May 13 2007 will make a significant difference to the lives of several thousand people. It will go into a nurses’ hardship fund, which nurses will be able to access. Given how tough life as a nurse nowadays is, with inadequate pay, high stress, large student loans and no job security, having access to a hardship fund may make the difference between a nurse being able to continue nursing and having to quit.

But however much money our footballers donate to our nurses they will not be able to solve the nursing crisis on their own. The players who do come on board serve as an inspiration to each of us to take responsibility for the kind of society in which we live, the kinds of values we want to have, and the kinds of political choices that we want our political leaders to make.


Nurses should not be paid less than all other professional key public sector workers. It is unjust that a nurse earns less than a tube driver, social worker, and policeman.

No student nurse should have to quit his or her course because he or she cannot afford her rent.

Newly qualified nurses should be guaranteed work upon graduation. It is criminal that because of NHS job freezes, thousands of nurses are facing the prospect of no job this year.

The government must commit to addressing the projected shortage of nurses that is looming - now. We cannot afford to wait. All our lives are at risk if the nurse-to-patient ratio falls, because insufficient nurses mean slower recovery rates and a greater chance of death.

Just because nursing is a vocation doesn’t mean nurses should be exploited, No one who chooses to spend their lives caring for others should find it impossible to live a decent life themselves as a consequence.


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