Gareth Bale will hand over almost £1m to fund the fight against coronavirus in Wales and Spain. The Real Madrid forward and his wife Emma have made a £500,000 donation to help NHS staff fighting the crisis in Cardiff and will follow that up with a further €500,000 for the health service in Madrid, where he and his family have been on lockdown since 14 March.
Bale made the donation to the Cardiff and Vale Health University health board and released a video thanking NHS staff for their work amid the crisis. The charity, which is linked to the hospital where he was born, covers costs for staff and patients not provided for by NHS funding. The 30-year old, who lives to the west of Madrid, is arranging for a similar payment to be made in Spain.
“I just wanted to make this video to thank everybody in the NHS for all their hard work and sacrifice during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bale said in a message released by the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
“The University Hospital in Wales holds a special place in my heart. It is where I was born and it’s provided great support to my friends, my family and the wider community. So me and my family would like to show our support. Keep up the good work. You’re doing an amazing job and thank you very much.”
The chief executive at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Len Richards, said: “It’s so heartening to hear they have chosen to give something back to their local hospital to say thank you for the services both them, their family and friends have received and to recognise all the hard work the staff and all at our hospitals are doing at this very difficult time.
“Gestures like this are testament to the fantastic work that our clinical and support colleagues carry out every day.”