Sir Andy Murray has paid tribute to the NHS on its 75th anniversary ©Getty Images

Double Olympic champion Sir Andy Murray is among several British athletes to pay tribute to the country's National Health Service (NHS) on its 75th anniversary.

Sir Andy gave his thanks and praised the NHS for the role it plays in providing healthcare across Britain and Northern Ireland.

"To me the NHS is very important, they've always been there for my family when we've really needed them," the three-time Grand Slam-winning tennis player said.

"Whether that's been in the middle of the night when one of my children is ill and we need to see someone urgently, they're always there.

"The staff have been incredible and are always so helpful."

The two-time Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock also shared his appreciation.

Peacock, who won the 100m T44 final at London 2012 and Rio 2016, had his right leg amputated below the knee as a child after contracting meningitis.

"I have been involved in the NHS because they literally saved my life at the age of five," the 30-year-old said.

"The NHS means my life to me. I simply wouldn’t be here without it."

A film commemorating the NHS is set to be released for the milestone year across the Piccadily Lights billboard in London today.

The NHS was established in 1948 as part of major social reforms following the Second World War.

It was founded by Health Minister at the time Aneurin Bevan out of the ideal that healthcare should be available to all regardless of wealth.

In 2014, the total health sector workforce across the United Kingdom was 2,165,043 making it the fifth largest employer and largest non-military public organisation in the world.

"It is incredible to see this gratitude for the amazing work that our NHS staff do and, as we reach our milestone 75th birthday, I am very proud of every member of staff who make the NHS what it is - the biggest care team in the world," said NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

"It's a team that has managed unprecedented challenges in the pandemic, led the world with its delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and is now working extremely hard to recover services.

"I'm very grateful to the sporting stars who are sharing their appreciation for our dedicated and determined staff to celebrate 75 years of the NHS."