Gary Neville thinks football will be more loved and won’t be taken for granted once the coronavirus crisis is over.

COVID-19 has put an end to professional football in England with the game postponed until April 30 at the earliest.

Many believe the delay will go on for longer than that date with the current season still to be finished.

And former Manchester United defender Neville believes the lengthy delay will mean football fans appreciate the game more when it returns.

“This will be something quite horrific in the next few weeks and talking about when the season will start again is not today’s challenge,” Neville told the Mail.

Football should never be taken for granted again insists Gary - Football should never be taken for granted again, insists Gary Neville
Gary Neville has spoken about the impact coronavirus has had on football

“People will need hope and joy and happiness when they come out of the other side and I hope football can provide that.

“But at the moment the two things that people need are protection around their health and their economic situation. There are families wondering how they are going to get through this.

“Football is not that important at the moment but we shouldn’t lose sight of how important sport is generally in this country.

1584905310 787 Man Utd chief Ed Woodwards stance on awarding Liverpool Premier - Football should never be taken for granted again, insists Gary Neville
The Premier League will not return until April 30 at the earliest

“It is the lifeblood of many people. The relief and hope and joy — that feeling of having the match to watch every weekend — keeps many people going.

“They have netball to play, or cricket, darts and snooker. All these things.

“It’s a huge part of our lives and we should remember that when it comes back. We must never take it for granted again.”

Neville has given the two hotels he owns with former Old Trafford team-mates over to the NHS to use for staff during the epidemic.

He added: “I think we will be at 100 per cent occupancy by Thursday this week.

“That is 176 beds. There are families making decisions that are not easy.”