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Christian Eriksen has been speaking to his national team-mates and remains stable in hospital, Danish football officials have said.

Eriksen collapsed shortly before half-time in Denmark's opening Euro 2020 game against Finland on Saturday. The 29-year-old Inter Milan player had emergency medical treatment on the pitch before being taken to hospital.

"His condition is stable and he continues to be hospitalised for further examination," said a statement. "This morning we have spoken to Christian, who has sent his greetings to his team-mates.

"The team and staff of the national team has received crisis assistance and will continue to be there for each other after yesterday's incident. We would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt greetings."

Saturday's incident happened as a throw-in was played towards Eriksen near the end of the first half. His distressed team-mates surrounded him and the shocked supporters at Parken Stadium were visibly upset as the player was treated.

Denmark team doctor Martin Boesen said Eriksen had been unconscious when he reached the player on the pitch. "When I got to him he was on his side, he was breathing, I could feel a pulse, but suddenly that changed and we started to give him CPR," he said.

"The help came really fast from the medical team and the rest of the staff with their co-operation, and we did what we had to do and managed to get Christian back." Last month, Eriksen helped Inter clinch their first Italian title for 11 years in his first full season with the club, after joining from Spurs for £16.9m in January 2020.

The Ajax youth player spent seven years with Tottenham, scoring 69 goals in 305 appearances.

Birmingham County FA (BCFA) have just announce that its ‘Save Today, Play Tomorrow’ project has teamed up with Pledgeball for the 2021/22 season to enable all clubs, teams and supporters to sign up to the first-ever County FA Sustainable Football Pledge and make a difference. When clubs affiliate with BCFA for the forthcoming season they will be asked to sign the Sustainability Pledge, which is linked to simple and small lifestyle changes that collectively make a huge impact on the planet.

For many, climate change is a difficult and complex subject to connect with – it is hard to know what to do and whether, as individuals, we can make a difference. Pledgeball offers a mechanism by which behaviour change can be brought about in a fun and easy way, empowering individuals by demonstrating the potential impact we can have by making small lifestyle changes, particularly in association with our football clubs.

Pledgeball already offer the facility for football fans to support their professional club and have recently announced partnerships with Huddersfield Town Supporters' Association and Bristol City Football Club. Football offers an unparalleled platform to bring about this change and Pledgeball offers a means by which to do this. 

Katie Cross, Founder of Pledgeball, said: “As a member of Bristol-based Misfits WFC, I am well aware of the potential for teams and clubs to make change happen. The football community is a unique place from which to initiate transformational change, with the regular fixtures, the unity, the wide-reach and the emotion that accompanies the sport. I am delighted about the partnership with Birmingham County FA – our potential to have a real impact, both in reducing our footprints and in spreading this much further afield, is huge.”

Richard Lindsay, Business Insights Manager at Birmingham County FA and Project Lead for Save Today, Play Tomorrow, added: “We are excited to have partnered with Pledgeball for the forthcoming season. To be able to bring our clubs on this journey of change is fantastic, and through their digital platform they have developed a really engaging way for football to consider lifestyle alternatives and to be able to visualise the positive impact this has had on our environment.”

By its very nature football is competitive and for those clubs that sign up to Pledgeball they will be able to see in real-time a Birmingham County FA league table showing how their club or team is performing based on the Carbon emission saving activities they pledge to complete. Success will be celebrated and for those clubs involved Birmingham County FA has ringfenced grant funding available to help support infrastructure changes.  

Birmingham County FA will formally launch the Save Today, Play Tomorrow sustainability project this month.

UK Athletics has made the decision that it will not be able to send a team to the 2021 World Athletics U20 Championships currently scheduled for 17-22 August 2021, in Kenya.

This decision has been reached for a number of reasons including UK Government guidance not to travel to red list countries; the associated risks with Covid-19 variants; the significant cost and time required in quarantine both in Kenya and UK, but most importantly the wellbeing of our athletes, coaches and support team.

As stated in the original selection policy for the age group championships, to best support athlete development through the U20 competition pathway and to provide opportunities for more athletes to gain a British vest, UK Athletics will take all qualifiers (three per event) to the European Athletics U20 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia on 15-18 July.

The ACE Programme is officially underway in Birmingham, delivered by Warwickshire County Cricket Club and the Warwickshire Cricket Board to help reinvigorate love for cricket within the city's Black community. With seven schools in North West Birmingham signed up, local youngsters recently took part in a special ACE Programme cricket session at Handsworth Cricket Club.

Since the start of the school summer term, each for the schools has received a full day of cricket delivered by former Bears fast bowler Recordo Gordon and fellow coach Ron Barker. Local youngsters can also take advantage of further sessions, delivered for children aged nine to 18, every Monday at Handsworth CC and every Friday at Holford Drive Community Sports Hub in Perry Barr.

"Getting ACE underway in Birmingham is a huge step forward for the local cricketing community," said Eaton Gordon, Warwickshire Cricket Board Cricket Development Manager (Community) and Birmingham Lead of ACE. "Cricket in the city's African Caribbean community has dropped significantly in recent years, and we are certainly not underestimating the challenge ahead in revitalising this love for the game.

"Our initial focus is on growing the level of participation in schools, but we hope that these new cricket sessions will inspire many of these youngsters to join in each week at Handsworth CC and Holford Drive and to get involved in the local Club game."

Warwickshire Cricket Board is also using the weekly cricket sessions to inspire youngsters to take part in wider cricket programmes that are delivered by local recreational clubs, including the All Stars programme for children aged five to eight and Dynamos for children aged eight to 11.

Stuart Cain, Chief Executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: "We must represent the communities we serve and can't avoid the fact that cricket isn't what it was to the region's African Caribbean community.

"ACE has the potential to provide a spark which reignites a passion for cricket and unearths the Bears players of the future. Alongside this, we want to rebuild a vibrant club scene as this used to be the cornerstone of the city's African Caribbean community providing strong foundations for wider social cohesion.  

“Lofty aims and it will take time as we're starting this programme with a blank sheet of paper, but we can't delay." The ACE Programme is now a charity that was developed in 2020 by Surrey County Cricket Club to address a 75 per cent decline in cricket participation by members of the Black community.

In October it was awarded £540,000 funding from Sport England, delivered over a three-year period, and a grant from the ECB.

For more information on the ACE PROGRAMME<>, please contact Eaton Gordon on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>.


For further media information and photography, please contact Tom Rawlings on 0121 446 3657 / 07770 728409 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Ex-England footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list just 1 week before he rides the Tour de France for the fifth and final time.

18 years after Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and given just 3 months to live, he will lead a team of 18 amateur cyclists as they take part in The Tour 21 from Saturday June 19th to Sunday July 11th. By cycling all 21 stages and 3,384km of the Tour de France, the team aim to raise over £1,000,000 for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia, the first ever official charity partner of the Tour de France in the UK.

Cure Leukaemia recorded a £1,700,000 fundraising shortfall in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and The Tour 21 team have already raised over £753,000 towards their £1,000,000 target. All funds raised by The Tour 21 team will be invested in the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) which has been solely funded by Cure Leukaemia since January 2020.

TAP is a network of specialist research nurses at 12 blood cancer centres located in the UK’s biggest cities and a facilitatory hub based at the Centre for Clinical Haematology in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This network enables accelerated setup and delivery of potentially life-saving blood cancer clinical trials to run giving patients from a UK catchment area of over 20 million people access to treatments not currently available through standard care.

Ever since Geoff was declared in remission in 2005, he has dedicated his life to raising funds to give blood cancer patients hope of survival through access to clinical trials. He was instrumental in the formation of TAP in 2012 and since 2015 has raised funds for Cure Leukaemia which was co-founded by the man who saved his life Professor Charlie Craddock CBE.

Speaking of the MBE, Geoff, 56, said: “I am immensely proud and humbled to have been awarded an MBE and my thoughts immediately turned to all of the people that have helped me get here over the years. There are so many people I need to say thank you to because what we have achieved for blood cancer patients across the UK as a team is remarkable but there is so much more work that needs to be done. I hope that this news helps raise further awareness of Cure Leukaemia so that it can be established as the leading blood cancer charity in the UK.

“After so many hurdles, next week myself and the team will finally head to France to ride The Tour 21 and we are firmly focused on ensuring we raise and surpass £1,000,000 because every penny will directly benefit the 38,000 people who are diagnosed with a form of blood cancer in the UK each year.”

Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin continued: “Geoff has been the driving force behind Cure Leukaemia’s growth since 2015 and he has played an instrumental role in establishing us as a national charity via our funding of the Trials Acceleration Programme.

“Geoff’s continued passion and commitment to helping blood cancer patients is inspirational and I am so thrilled that he has been awarded such a well-deserved and prestigious honour.

This fantastic news is perfect timing with Geoff due to start his fifth and final Tour de France Challenge this Saturday. And I know that he will be leading from the front in the coming weeks to ensure that he and his Tour21 teammates achieve their £1,000,000 target with those funds benefiting blood cancer patients across the UK.”

Eilish McColgan and Marc Scott were crowned British 10,000m champions as the GB & NI women took European Cup team victory and the men silver on an eventful night at the University of Birmingham track.

It was a busy evening packed with breath-taking action as the home athletes vied for national titles, European Cup points and Olympic places. McColgan, Scott and Jessica Judd all made sure of automatic selection for Tokyo but, though he finished as second Briton, Mo Farah was outside of the qualifying standard he required.

In the Women’s A race, an amazing late charge brought overall victory for McColgan as she clocked 31:19.21 to pip Israel’s Selamawit Teferi (31:19.35 PB) right on the line, while an emotional Judd made sure of her Tokyo spot as she finished close behind with a PB of 31:20.84.

Verity Ockenden also produced a personal best to finish fourth in 31:43.57, with compatriot Amy-Eloise Markovc fifth in 32:04.19. The six-strong GB & NI team was completed by Samantha Harrison in ninth with 32:38.99 and Jenny Nesbitt 12th in 32:48.48. Following after, Charlotte Arter clocked 32:17.40 for seventh place, a time which was inside the Wales qualifying standard for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

McColgan had come into the race as the only member of the British team to have gone under the Olympic qualifying standard of 31:25.00 and the home quartet of McColgan, Judd, Markovc and Ockenden had allowed Teferi to pull away.

The Israeli was first through the halfway mark in 15:40.06, a four-second lead over the four Britons, and she established what had looked like being an unassailable lead.  With Markovc and Ockenden having fallen back, Judd decided to up the pace entering the final kilometre, albeit still 15 seconds in arrears of Teferi.

McColgan went with her team-mate and, covering the closing 1000m in 2:51, including a final 200m of just under 31 seconds, surged through to take the win and secure an appearance at what will be her third Olympics, 30 years after her mother – and coach – Liz won the 10,000m world title in Tokyo.

After the race, Eilish admitted to having had her mother’s words ringing in her ears: “She said don’t leave it to the last lap because you don’t want to miss out and it turns into a 400m race rather than a 10,000m,” she said.

“I did have that in the back of my mind so I just kept reminding myself to keep calm over the last couple of laps because training is going better than ever and then there’s a lot of pressure coming into this because when you are training so well. You have one opportunity to try and knit it together on the day so I suppose there was a part of me that was like ‘don’t mess this up’. I’m absolutely buzzing.” GB & NI topped the team standings, with Italy taking silver and Poland bronze.

The Men’s A race marked Farah’s first track 10,000m contest since winning the 2017 World Championships title in 2017 but the reigning Olympic champion admitted to frustration after the race at an ankle injury which hampered his performance.

As France’s European champion Morhad Amdouni took victory in 27:23.29 ahead of Belgium’s Bashi Abdi (27:24.41) and Spaniard Carlos Mayo (27:25.00) – all PBs – Scott came through to take seventh in 27:49.94. His time on the night was outside the Olympic qualifying standard of 27:28.00 but, with already having run 27:10.40 in America earlier this year, finishing in the home top two made sure of his place.

“It’s a shame not to win the race overall but I just wanted to get the job done against the British guys,” he said.

Farah was one place behind Scott in 27:50.64 and said: “It is what it is. The last 10 days hasn’t been great but, no matter what I’ve achieved in my career, it was important that I come to the trials. It would have been easy not to show but I did show and I dug in deep. 

“With 15 laps to go I was hurting hard. I just had to keep fighting, keep digging in and finish in the top two.”

Third Briton was Emile Cairess, who had the race of his life in the 10th place with a PB of 27:53.19 which is also inside the Team England Commonwealth qualifying standard. Matt Leach was 13th in 28:22.33, while there was a PB for Kristian Jones one place back in 28:23.50. The other member of the GB & NI team, Jake Smith did not finish but Britain still finished second in the team standings behind France and ahead of Spain.

Ellis Cross was the top British finisher in the Men’s European Cup B Race as he came through to clock 29:10.64, his third-fastest performance over the distance. Nigel Martin was 13th in a personal best of 29:22.28, with Omar Ahmed also producing the fastest 10,000m of his career with 29:25.94 for 14th.

Italy’s Pietro Riva produced a dominant performance in the Men’s European Cup B Race to win in 28:25.70, with Iceland’s Hlynur Andrésson second in 28:36.64 and Estonia’s Tiidrek Nurme third in 28:37.61. The top four all clocked personal bests.

Sally Ratcliffe was the first British athlete home in the Women’s European Cup B race, as she came home in eighth place in a time of 34:39.53, while Elisha Tait clocked 35:40.54 for 14th and Kate Drew finished 16th in 36:36.99. Victory went to Tereza Hrochová of the Czech Republic as she won an entertaining battle with Anna Arnaudo to win in a time of exactly 33 minutes as her Italian rival came home in 33:02.70. Poland’s Angelica Mach was third in 33:26.29 as the top seven finishers all recorded personal bests.

In the first 10,000m contest of the meeting, Max Milarvie made an impressive debut over the distance on the track when winning a tight battle with Paulos Surafel. Milarvie was outside the qualifying standard for this summer’s European U23 Championships but kicked away to take victory in a time of 29:22.78, with Surafel clocking 29:25.62. Jonathan Escalante-Phillips was third in 29:32.51.

The evening’s schedule began with a men’s 1500m Para contest, which was won convincingly by Owen Miller in 3:58.68. The 2019 WPA World Championships sixth placer came home ahead of Steven Bryce, who clocked 4:07.16 and the 4:07.43 of James Hamilton.