Republic of Ireland and Everton captain Seamus Coleman has encouraged others to join him in raising funds and boosting spirits during the coronavirus crisis.

Coleman sent a video message after donating €20,000 to the Feed The Heroes campaign for health workers in Ireland.

In the video on Everton's Twitter page, the defender said: "It is a tough time for all of us at the moment, for all Irish people, for all people around the world, but speaking for Irish people I know we are a very proud nation.

"We stick together, we work hard for each other and though I know it's a tough time at the minute, we will get through this. Stay positive and keep fighting."

Meanwhile, Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti made a surprise phone call to Everton fan Mark Cruise, a 52-year-old retired police officer who suffers from motor neurone disease.

During the call Ancelotti admitted his fears for his family and friends back home in Italy, which has been badly affected by the pandemic.

"I have friends in Italy, my sister is in Italy, and the situation is worse. It's terrible," he said.

"Here in England we have to take care and to avoid the expansion of the virus."

The red half of Merseyside is also helping out, supporting the local community with the launch of the 'LFC Connect' initiative to help people stay connected.

In a bid to reduce social isolation among the elderly and vulnerable, members of Liverpool's Red Neighbours programme, the LFC Foundation and their Fan Experience teams have been contacting people to talk on the phone and enjoy a virtual cup of tea with them.

Brighton's players and staff, including head coach Graham Potter and chairman Tony Bloom, are to begin checking in with elderly and vulnerable supporters by phone on Thursday.

The Seagulls have also announced a three-month payment holiday is available for renewing season-ticket holders.