NHS staff to be given free tickets to Brighton and Hove Albion matches

Empty stadiums were the norm through the pandemic

Brighton and Hove Albion is to give away tickets to NHS and emergency services workers this season, as it thanks them for their work through the pandemic.

The club will be giving away more than a thousand tickets to Premier League matches and more than 500 tickets to the Women's Super League.

It follows a promise made in the early part of the pandemic, but the club has now increased the number of tickets it is giving away.

The club says tickets will be distributed through the Blue Light Tickets website, meaning only those who meet the right criteria can apply.

At one point cardboard cutouts of fans were used, to try and make things feel more "normal".

Albion men's first-team head coach Graham Potter said:

"We are hugely grateful to the amazing work our emergency services undertake and never more so than the previous 18 months. 

"As a club we have shown our gratitude and support wherever we can, and we are delighted to be able to offer these tickets."

Those at the club recognise the "tremendous efforts" NHS and emergency services workers gave, and this one of the ways they are saying thank you.

Women's first-team manager Hope Powell added:

"We are really looking forward to welcoming fans back into stadiums for the new season, and I am delighted we, as a club, can show a small token of our appreciation to those emergency services heroes."