Robert Snodgrass has opened his heart over three of his best friends losing their fathers to coronavirus.
The West Ham midfielder, who won 28 Scotland caps before retiring from the international game, is one of the thousands of top-flight players across Europe wondering when – and if – their season will restart.
Right now, however, he has football’s concerns in perspective.
Snodgrass told The Sunday Post: “People close to me have lost loved ones to Covid-19. Three of my closest mates from Glasgow, in fact.
“Colin Syme has lost his dad. Jamie and Barry Watson have also lost their dad.
“Colin, Barry and Jamie were all ushers at my wedding, and their dads were great guys.
“So it’s been a horrible time for all of them, and that’s when you put everything into perspective.
“Coronavirus has had a massive impact worldwide, and we are all being hit by it in different ways.
“But when people you know have died from it, then it takes it to a new level.
“The fact that relatives are not being allowed to grieve properly in the current crisis makes it even harder to take.
“Because of the social-distancing measures, you can’t get the proper comforting that you would normally in such circumstances.
“Only a few people can attend a funeral. So not having a proper and fitting send off makes it all the harder.
“Right now, it’s a brutal process. Very, very painful for all concerned. I have really felt for all of them.
“We need to just keep following the guidelines and trying our very best.
“Things are improving but there is a long way to go and still much work to be done.”
Putting his football hat on, Snodgrass has missed the game and hopes to be playing again soon.
The former Livingston, Leeds United, Norwich City and Hull City man said: “I’m really missing football and missing my team-mates.
“Football is all I’ve known since I was 16 years old, and not to have had it for seven or eight weeks is the longest I’ve gone.
“I’m not sure when we will back, but it’s been suggested that the Premier League could be up and running again next month. We will need to wait and see.
“The world has changed in the past three months. Life isn’t normal.
“Everyone is looking for answers from the Government and the scientists. It’s unfortunate that a lot of the information we are receiving is based on guesswork.
“It’s extremely difficult to be factual, and that’s totally understandable.
“In football, we all want to get back training and playing as soon as possible. But it needs to be right.
“Who knows when it will be back and the type of game that will be there.
“Will it be in front of fans? Will there be promotion and relegation? Will it be neutral venues?
“Will there be five or six substitutes allowed to be used per game? Will the players need to wear masks? Will it even move away from a 90-minute game?
“It’s full of uncertainty.
“The various powers in the game will continue to talk it through, and they will do their very best to come up with the best possible situation.
“It’s unlikely to be a perfect solution, and there will not be an outcome that suits everyone. That’s something we will need to prepare for.
“But as long as the health and well-being of every person at every football club – and every supporter – is put first, then that, I’m sure, will be the starting point.
“People have died. Far too may people have lost their lives due to coronavirus. It’s been horrible. Life will not be the same again for many, many months.
“We will all need to get used to a change in the way we go about our lives on a day-to-day basis.
“There is a lot adjustment to come. There will be new guidelines and new routine.”
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