A BLACKBURN Rovers footballer has been thanked for his donation to an East Lancashire hospice after he funded the purchase of vital personal protective equipment for staff and residents.

It was announced last week that Rovers midfielder Bradley Johnson had teamed up with former footballer Dexter Blackstock to set up a charity website in a bid to raise money to buy and deliver vital medical equipment to frontline staff fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

And now bosses at the East Lancashire Hospice, based on Park Lee Road in Blackburn, have expressed their gratitude to Johnson and the club after becoming one of the first outlets in East Lancashire to receive a delivery of 1,000 face masks.

Sharon Crymble, income generation and marketing lead at the hospice, said: “We became aware of the donation through Benefit Mankind, who have partnered up with the club and Bradley Johnson to make this happen, and when we were notified that we would be receiving the PPE we were absolutely thrilled.

“We are very grateful for all donations at this time and we’ve always had a good relationship with Blackburn Rovers.

“What the club have done for the community and for the hospice, both in the past and now, we’re extremely grateful for and we’d like to say a massive thank-you.”

Johnson has previously said that he is particularly keen to make sure care homes and hospices aren’t overlooked during the crisis adding he was keen to work with the club to ensure a number of East Lancashire locations received the support they need.

Before announcing they were to donate much-needed supplies across Lancashire, the duo had already delivered 10,000 masks to care homes and hospices across the Midlands where the pair are both based.

The delivery to the East Lancashire Hospice came after East Lancashire CCG and Blackburn with Darwen Council, through the Lancashire Telegraph, appealed to local businesses that have access to vital PPE supplies to play their part.

Miss Crymble added: “We were one of the club’s chosen charity partners last season and Craig Conway was a fantastic ambassador, but the club have continued to support the hospice."