O'Sullivan joins Trump in Championship League Snooker as full field announced

Ronnie O’Sullivan will return to the table at Championship League Snooker in Milton Keynes in a high-profile field including world champion Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson.

Snooker returns behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes on 1 June and plenty of the biggest names in the sport will be involved.

The event has been added to the calendar to get players back in action as quickly as possible after the coronavirus hiatus, and will be the first tournament since the Gibraltar Open in March, ahead of the Tour Championship and then World Championship in July.

64 players are involved across 16 groups in Milton Keynes and the Rocket will be among the field, drawn in a group alongside Chris Wakelin, Michael Georgiou and Kishan Hirani.

O’Sullivan has not played since his second round exit at the Snooker Shoot Out in February, and not been involved in a long-format event since the Welsh Open earlier in the same month.

The winners of the 16 groups then play in four more groups, before those winners playing out a final group, with a champion crowned on 11 June and claiming the £30,000 top prize.

The whole event will be broadcast live on ITV4 beginning at 3pm each day, apart from Friday 5 June when it gets underway at 4pm.

Championship League Groups

Group 1 – Saturday 6 June
Stuart Bingham
Ricky Walden
Jordon Brown
Jamie Clarke

Group 2 – Monday 1 June
Judd Trump
Daniel Wells
Elliot Slessor
David Grace

Group 3 – Tuesday 2 June
Michael Holt
Mark Davis
Mark Joyce
Louis Heathcote

Group 4 – Wednesday 3 June
Joe Perry
Mark King
Sam Baird
Harvey Chandler

Group 5 – Wednesday 4 June
Mark Selby
Liang Wenbo
Joe O’Connor
Lee Walker

Group 6 – Monday 8 June
Ali Carter
Matt Selt
Sam Craigie
Dominic Dale

Group 7 – Sunday 7 June
Barry Hawkins
Anthony McGill
Craig Steadman
Hammad Miah

Group 8 – Saturday 6 June
Jimmy Robertson
Ben Woollaston
Liam Highfield
Alex Ursenbacher

Group 9 – Tuesday 2 June
Jack Lisowski
Luca Brecel
Robbie Williams
Oliver Lines

Group 10 – Friday 5 June
Ronnie O’Sullivan
Chris Wakelin
Michael Georgiou
Kishan Hirani

Group 11 – Monday 8 June
Mark Allen
Martin O’Donnell
Michael White
Nigel Bond

Group 12 – Wednesday 3 June
Kyren Wilson
Ryan Day
Alfie Burden
Chen Feilong

Group 13 – Monday 1 June
David Gilbert
Stuart Carrington
Jak Jones
Jackson Page

Group 14 – Wednesday 4 June
Gary Wilson
Matthew Stevens
John Astley
Mitchell Mann

Group 15 – Friday 5 June
Tom Ford
Robert Milkins
Mike Dunn
Ian Burns

Group 16 – Sunday 7 June
Neil Robertson
Kurt Maflin
Ken Doherty
Ashley Carty

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Greggs joins Pret and McDonald's giving free hot drinks

Greggs joins Pret and McDonald’s giving free hot drinks and discounts to NHS staff to say thank you as they battle on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak

  • Greggs will be offering emergency service staff with free drinks to say thank you
  • The official Pret Twitter account announced the news of free drinks this morning 
  • It added that NHS staff would also be entitled to 50 per cent of everything else 
  • McDonald’s is also offering NHS staff free drinks while restaurants remain open
  • Co-op to offer free lunches to pupils at closed academies who normally get them
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Greggs has become the latest food distributor to provide emergency service staff on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak with free drinks. 

The high-street food chain announced that it would be offering beverages to NHS staff and social care workers in appreciation of their efforts amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In order to collect a free drink, those working for the health sector will be asked to show their work pass as proof of their profession.

In a statement the bakery chain said: ‘Greggs has a long-standing history of supporting the communities that we serve, and we’ll continue to help the Greggs Foundation donate unsold food to good causes and deliver the programmes that support those in need.

The bakery chain Greggs will provide emergency service staff with free beverages amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (Stock image)

It comes after the official Pret Twitter account said hot drinks would be ‘on the house’ for all employees with a valid NHS staff card, and discounts are being offered on food

‘In addition, we’ll be offering all emergency service personnel and health and social care workers free hot drinks on presentation of their work pass – they are doing an amazing job, and this is the least we can do to support them.’

The company added: ‘We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely, reviewing developments and the latest advice, and inform you of any additional steps we need to take. 

‘We’ll keep as many of our shops open for as long as possible, but you may see a change in our opening hours and range as we respond to this ever-changing landscape.

‘We’ve overcome various challenges over the last 80 years, and as has been said by our government, we will do whatever it takes to get through this crisis together.’

The latest announcement comes after McDonald’s said all emergency services personnel and health and social workers in the UK would be able to collect free drinks at all restaurants while Government guidance allows them to stay open.

The chain’s restaurants are to become takeaways, drive-thrus and delivery operations as the company attempts to cope with the outbreak.

This morning, the official Pret Twitter account said hot drinks would be ‘on the house’ for all employees with a valid NHS staff card, and discounts are being offered on food.

In a tweet, Pret said: Your hot drinks are on the house from today, and we’ll take 50% off everything else. Thank you for everything you are doing. We look forward to serving you’

McDonald’s said all emergency services personnel and health and social workers in the UK would be able to collect free drinks at all restaurants while Government guidance allows them to stay open (a McDonald’s in Liverpool today)

While the Co-op is to provide free lunches for all students who normally receive government-funded free school meals at its 25 academies, if they are required to close because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

In a tweet, Pret said: Your hot drinks are on the house from today, and we’ll take 50% off everything else.

‘Thank you for everything you are doing. We look forward to serving you.’

Pret chief executive officer Pano Christou said it was important to ‘show solidarity and stand by each other in this difficult time’ as he announced the discounts.

He said: ‘The teams on the frontline of the NHS are doing an extraordinary job and deserve all our support through this crisis.

‘Hopefully this small step helps brighten their day.’ 

Starbucks coffee chain have also committed to giving free filter coffee to NHS, council and emergency services staff in support of their ‘courage, commitment and resilience.’

The company announced it will also be moving to a new ‘to go’ only model across its UK outlets – closing cafe and patio seating, but maintaining Mobile Order & Pay, Drive Thru and delivery services.  

Bakery chain, PAUL, is also offering all NHS workers free takeaway coffee and tea. 

WHSmith also said it would be doubling the NHS staff discount on food and drinks to 20% in all its hospital stores from Thursday.

A spokeswoman said: ‘We are hugely grateful for the exceptional efforts and commitment of our NHS staff in these unprecedented times.’

The Butcher’s Hook Gastropub at Stamford Bridge in London is also offering 20 per cent off for all NHS staff. 

The Butcher’s Hook Gastropub at Stamford Bridge in London is offering 20 per cent off for NHS Staff

Two Co-op Academy schools are closing on Thursday as students, families and staff self-isolate.

The Co-op called on the Government to lead a nationwide effort to help feed the 1.4 million students who receive free school meals across the UK.

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Retail, said: ‘For many children who receive free school meals, lunch at school is the main meal of the day, so if school closes unexpectedly they could go hungry.

‘We don’t think that’s fair on our students or their families who often struggle to keep food on the table, and it has an impact on the health and well-being of vulnerable families.

‘So we’re making sure the students attending our 25 Co-op Academies won’t miss out, but we know this is a drop in the ocean when you consider there are 1.4 million kids on free school meals in this country.’

The Co-op will provide all students receiving free school meals at its 25 Co-op Academy schools, located in the north of England, with a £20 voucher to spend in Co-op food stores, saying it was enough to cover a one-week unplanned closure.

The move affects around 6,500 students.

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Asda joins Tesco by closing 24-hour stores early so it can restock overnight – The Sun

ASDA shoppers will no longer be able to visit its stores 24 hours as it's closing them early to re-stock shelves stripped by panic buyers.

The supermarket says it will temporarily close 24-hour stores between 12am and 6am.

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Asda adds that it will also use the downtime to ensure busy stores are "thoroughly clean" to protect against the risk of coronavirus.

The Sun has asked how many stores this impacts, how long this will last, and how staff are affected and we'll update this story as soon as we get a response.

Asda has around 600 stores UK-wide. You can use its store locator tool to find your nearest, and Asda says this will be updated with the new opening hours.

Just yesterday Tesco revealed it too would close temporarily close its 24 hours stores early.

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The move will see its Extra, superstores and large Metro branches close from 10pm until 6am, although a few large stores with pharmacies will continue to stay open past 10pm.

Supermarkets have been placed under extreme demand as households have been told by the Prime Minister to stay at home where possible due to coronavirus fears.

It's seen shelves stripped off items such as pasta, toilet roll and cleaning products, while supermarkets have had to place limits on how many items shoppers can buy.

 

Sainsbury’s revealed earlier today that it's set a purchase limit on EVERY item to stop shoppers from coronavirus panic buying.

While online shops have also sold out of home delivery slots, with Ocado's website and app going down due to high demand.

In a statement Asda said: "As you know, our stores are very busy and whilst our colleagues are doing a fantastic job of getting everything back on the shelves as quickly as possible for our customers, we want to ensure they have the time to re-stock and thoroughly clean the store so it is ready for customers."

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