The rescue of 12 young Thai footballers and their coach has captured the hearts of people around the world – including the football family.
They had been trapped in a flooded cave for over two weeks and as events unfolded, the bravery and courage of these budding players has been truly astonishing.
Aged between 11 and 17, the members of the Wild Boars football team were stuck in a cave system in northern Thailand, which left them huddled in darkness on a small ledge.
In the past 24 hours since the successful rescue mission was completed, EFL clubs around the country have come together to offer their kind words of support to the junior football team.
The EFL have put together a series of short videos with messages from managers and players, including Pompey defender Christian Burgess, Derby boss Frank Lampard and West Bromwich’s Darren Moore.
Burgess said: “You have all shown unbelievable courage. Everyone at Pompey is so pleased that you have been able to make it home safely.
“We hope you enjoy spending time with your friends and family, and hopefully you’re back playing football soon. The whole of the football family sends you our best wishes.
"Everyone at Pompey is so pleased that you have been able to make it home safely."
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey added: “From everyone at the EFL there’s only one thing to say – welcome home boys. We’re all relieved that you’re back home with your family and friends.
“We’ve all watched on in great admiration of your bravery and we now hope you can get back to concentrating on the one thing you love and the thing that unites the world – the game of football.”
Lampard said: “We have a huge respect for everyone involved in the rescue mission to save the Wild Boars football team and their coach from the cave networks in Thailand.
“Everyone at Derby wishes a speedy recovery to those involved and our sincere sympathies to the family of Saman Gunan, who sacrificed his life to help save the children.”