West Brom striker urges caution after revealing coronavirus diagnosis

Date published: Friday 20th March 2020 7:08

West Brom forward Charlie Austin has revealed he has contracted the coronavirus, issuing a passionate plea for people to take more care.

With death tolls across Britain and Europe rising and pubs, restaurants and clubs across the United Kingdom closing from Friday night, the pandemic continues to affect everyday life.

Sport has been hit hard with postponements across all domestic football, with a number of players and staff already testing positive for Covid-19.

But Austin said he has been struggling with the condition in recent days and stressed the importance of following government guidelines.

“Before I started feeling the symptoms on Saturday I was on the phone to my wife Bianca’s mother and I said to her that I hoped if anyone in our family got it that it would be me,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“I felt like I was fit and healthy and I could handle it. A week later and I would say to anyone, even those in their 20s and 30s – ‘Don’t take it lightly – it’s serious’.

“I get that people who haven’t got it are going about their lives. Last week, I was living my life.

“Not that I didn’t take coronavirus seriously. But this is extremely serious and we should take it that way.”

 

Austin felt that football needed a high-profile name to catch the virus before it was taken seriously, adding: “It almost took someone high up to get it for the game to think, ‘Oh actually, we need to stop’.

“If (Arsenal head coach) Mikel Arteta hadn’t tested positive, we would have played those fixtures last weekend.

“I would rather we looked back in three or four months’ time and thought we were over-cautious than look back thinking that we could have done more.”

 

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