West Ham United midfielder Tomas Soucek has thrown his support behind the ‘Wave of Hope’ campaign to raise funds for hospitals and medical workers battling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in his native Czech Republic.
The 25-year-old, who is the reigning Czech Footballer of the Year and a regular in the national team, joined the Hammers on loan from Slavia Prague in January, having helped the club from the Czech capital win the domestic double last season.
A hero in his homeland, Soucek has joined the likes of former Chelsea and Czech Republic international goalkeeper Petr Cech, singers Monika Absolonova, Petr Kolar and Dara Rolins, the band Slza and actor Martin Dejdar in backing Wave of Hope (#Vlnanadeje), which hopes to raise ten million Czech Koruna (£325,000) to buy medical equipment for frontline staff.
A telethon promoting ‘Wave of Hope’ was broadcast on Czech television on Saturday evening, with nearly six million Koruna (£190,000) being raised, including a personal donation from Soucek.
Wave of Hope is part of the wider Drop of Hope (Kapka Nadeje) foundation, which has been raising funds for Czech hospitals since 2000. To make a donation to Wave of Hope, click here.
Soucek’s support follows captain Mark Noble’s donation of £35,000 to to help provide food and medicines to isolated and vulnerable people in the Essex district of Basildon.
The players’ generous gestures came on the same weekend that West Ham United announced a number of measures to project and safeguard staff and the future viability of the football club, including a deferral of wages by the first-team squad during the period football is postponed, a £30million cash injection from Joint-Chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold and a 30% reduction in the salaries of David Moyes, Vice-Chairman Karren Brady and Chief Financial Officer Andy Mollett.