Gilmour has made a lasting impression after encouraging performances for Chelsea this yearBilly Gilmour’s first-team career so far amounts to just seven appearances – four starts – and 461 minutes.But the 18-year-old Scot has wasted no time in making a lasting impression at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield.Among the list of admirers is West Ham…
Billy Gilmour’s first-team career so far amounts to just seven appearances – four starts – and 461 minutes.
But the 18-year-old Scot has wasted no time in making a lasting impression at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield.
Among the list of admirers is West Ham manager David Moyes, who would relish a chance to work with his compatriot.
“The one [Scottish player] who if I could sign tomorrow I would is Billy Gilmour after his opening performances for Chelsea,” said Moyes.
“He’s looked like a seasoned pro, he’s looked like somebody who’s hungry, who’s in love with the game.”
Scotland Under-21 international Gilmour has broken into the first team at Stamford Bridge this season, earning a lot of praise for his impressive performances and surging into contention for the national side’s now postponed Euro 2020 play-off against Israel.
Moyes sees the former Rangers youth player as a throwback to Scottish talent of previous eras, and joked about a swap deal if Chelsea try to buy West Ham’s own midfield asset.
Speaking to BBC Scotland’s Scottish football podcast, Moyes said: “He’s typical of what my memories are of what Scottish players were like going back many, many years. We were always good players, really talented football players, and at the moment Billy Gilmour in the short period I’ve seen him has looked like that all day long.
“We need to start getting a Scottish national team that gives us some hope but he’s certainly a really talented looking player.
“I was laughing because I keep getting told that Chelsea want Declan Rice, so I thought well I might just decide I want Billy Gilmour and see how it goes.”
Moyes – who has taken a 30% pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic – returned to London on Monday as the Premier League explores plans for action to resume behind closed doors in June.
The Scot hopes that when football does restart, there is a shift in priorities from the boardroom to the stands.
“I do hope that the money isn’t as big as it has been in the past,” he said. “I want us to see more young players coming through, I do want to see more home talent.
“From a coaching point of view I’m actually hoping that when we come out of this people might realise we’ve been getting rid of our managers too easily. Everybody has been too quick to make decisions and try to get instant success. Most of the real successful clubs have had longevity and stability.”
After the despair of losing the final in 2018, Andy Robertson and Liverpool won the Champions League in 2019Andrew Robertson and his Liverpool team-mates should have been celebrating a first Premier League title by now – instead they’ve been in lockdown with the rest of us.So how has the left-back been spending his time while…
Andrew Robertson and his Liverpool team-mates should have been celebrating a first Premier League title by now – instead they’ve been in lockdown with the rest of us.
So how has the left-back been spending his time while waiting for football to return? Just like the rest of us, as it turns out.
He’s had countless Zoom chats, he’s dug a hole in the garden, he’s started to paint the fence and left it in a mess. All reassuringly normal.
To escape domestic deadlock, the Scotland captain joined That Peter Crouch Podcast this week – following on from previous guests including Kasper Schmeichel, Ben Foster and Andre Marriner – to talk all things Jurgen Klopp, disrespecting Lionel Messi and partying until 6am with Kenny Dalglish…
‘It’s disrespectful to the best player who’s ever played the game….’
“I sometimes play as a fan and not as a professional footballer, which is maybe my downfall at times,” Robertson says.
“Me and Fabinho were tracking Messi back and we both ended up on the ground and I just ruffled his hair a bit. He wasn’t too happy and it’s something I wouldn’t do again, that’s for sure!
“It’s disrespectful to the best player who’s ever played the game. That match, I’ve never seen a changing room so pumped up. I don’t know what came over me.
“I do regret it but it’s something everyone always mentions to me. I wasn’t thinking! In the Nou Camp in the first leg I thought I dealt with him as well as I could have but he still walked off with two goals in a 3-0 win and all everyone is talking about is Messi.
“He’s the best player ever to play the game in my opinion. There was a moment when he knocked it by two of our midfielders in the first few minutes at the Nou Camp and he was running directly at me and I was thinking ‘oh right, this guy’s serious’. He’s coming at me now.
“The stuff he does with his feet is just frightening. You can’t see, you need to guess at times to defend against him.”
Come on Kenny, we’ve a plane to catch…
After defeat in the 2018 Champions League final, Robertson and Liverpool beat Tottenham in Madrid last year. So how big was the night out afterwards?
“All of a sudden the lights came on and it was 6am,” Robertson remembers.
“I was talking to Kenny Dalglish, he was getting ushered away by his wife because they had a flight to catch. Me and Adam Lallana stayed up because our wake-up call was half eight so it was pointless going to sleep.
“We had our friends and families there – it was an amazing night. It was a very different feeling to the year before!
“We never had a party in Kiev, just flew straight back and I never got the silver medal out of the drawer until the day after winning in Madrid. That was the first time I looked at it.
“It wasn’t until the Monday night, after the parade, that everything came out. I was really emotional, texting all the players, texting all the staff.”
Whatever we do, we do 100%…
If you’re a football fan then it’s hard not to love Jurgen Klopp – but what is the Liverpool manager really like?
“He says whatever you do, do it 100%. We train 100%, we play 100%, we party 100%. You saw that when he was on the bus during the parade!
“Some managers put on a front for the cameras, but what you see is what you get with him. What you see in press conferences is exactly what he’s like.
“One of his biggest strengths is dealing with people. Some managers treat every player the same and if you don’t like it, tough. But he adapts to different situations, different players.
“He knows the people who need an arm around them, knows those who need tough love. He does everything for you, he’s a father figure and if you let him down you don’t want to look him in the eye.”
‘I ended up on lingerie…’
Robertson may be one of the best full-backs in the world – even if he says team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold is the best – but he didn’t have a typical route into the game.
As a teenager struggling to make the grade at Queen’s Park he had a satisfyingly normal weekend job.
“I was on the checkouts at M&S. My mates got discounts on Percy Pigs so they were delighted.
“That was my start, my first job, I was just trying to get some money as I was turning 18 in the March and nights out started to happen so I needed to get some money in the bank.
“I was still at school, I was working evenings and weekends. I needed some money to get on the plane to Malia with my boys.
“I actually did a couple of shifts on women’s lingerie – they were short on staff and I got flung up there. I didn’t really think about football then. I certainly didn’t think I’d be playing for Liverpool.”
Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has scored three of his seven league goals at home this seasonAston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow is against playing the remaining Premier League fixtures at neutral grounds to complete the season.Top-flight clubs have been told that using up to 10 neutral stadiums will be the only way to finish the…
Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow is against playing the remaining Premier League fixtures at neutral grounds to complete the season.
Villa were 19th in the table and had played a game fewer than the other teams in the bottom half when the campaign was suspended on 13 March.
They had managed five league wins at home compared to two victories on the road and earned 17 points at Villa Park as opposed to eight on their travels.
“We’ve got six home games left to play and I think any Villa fan would agree that giving up that advantage is a massive decision for somebody running Aston Villa and I certainly wouldn’t agree to that unless those circumstances are right,” added Purslow, who was speaking to Talksport.
League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan has said the 2019-20 Premier League season could be cancelled if clubs do not agree to play in neutral venues.
A vote is set to take place on Monday on proposals for a return to football.
Brighton have already said they are “not in favour” of the idea of using neutral venues as it may affect the “integrity” of the league, with West Ham also reportedly not in favour.
“At the bottom end of the table there’s a much smaller revenue base, but the risk of relegation is probably a £200m catastrophe for any club that mathematically could still go down,” said Purslow.
“When you say to any club, ‘we want you to agree to a bunch of rule changes that may make it more likely that you get relegated’, they’re not thinking about TV money, they’re thinking, ‘my goodness, am I going to agree to something that results in me being relegated and losing £200m?”‘
Image copyright Anna Jackson Image caption Anna Jackson has swapped photography for life on the farm My Money is a series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here Anna Jackson, 27, takes us through a week in the life of her family’s farm in…
My Money is a series looking at how people spend their money – and the sometimes tough decisions they have to make. Here Anna Jackson, 27, takes us through a week in the life of her family’s farm in Bottesford near Scunthorpe, where she has returned after the coronavirus outbreak brought her freelance photography work to a halt.
Over to Anna….
Like most people, corona has really turned my life upside down. I’ve gone from being a freelance sports photographer in London to being a farmer in Lincolnshire.
Rather than my life revolving around shoots, coffee meetings and cycling around the Big Smoke, I now wake up early for lamb feeding with Timmy our orphan lamb, learning about drilling and fixing fence posts with nosy cows trying to lick you.
Currently I am not furloughed as I was freelance, so money is in short supply to say the least. I’m still paying £815 a month for rent plus bills for a London flat that I’m not living in, plus £114 for my monthly subscriptions. I’m volunteering for my Mum (Sally) doing photography, social media and videography at The Pink Pig Farm shop and park in Scunthorpe, whilst also working full time on the farm with Dad.
Mum has furloughed 24 staff, so she only has my sister and me to help with her daily farm shop stall, where we sell everyday essentials. Our chickens haven’t stopped laying.
Weekly shop. Now that I’m back living with my parents (it’s taken some adjusting to) we do a weekly shop, this includes all the meals throughout the week. We try to only go to the supermarket once a week. As my parents are older I don’t want to add potential risk when we don’t need to.
One person is the designated shopper. My sister has been relegated as she buys too many naughty treats, my Dad has been kindly asked not to go because he deviates from the whole shopping list and I can’t go anymore because I take too long. So Mum grudgingly does the weekly shop.
Total spend: £88 for the weekly shop. (£22 per person).
I’ve been one of the rare key workers who has been travelling around in the car ever since the virus was announced. When we first started driving to the agricultural suppliers the roads were empty apart from lorries. We, of course, had our government letter of authority to travel, just in case we got stopped.
Since then the roads have definitely got busier. We aren’t quite sure where people are going but it’s definitely increased. Travel per week costs around £70.
We travel to the abattoir once a month to deliver pigs or sheep, and to an outlying farm three times a week. Although I don’t have to pay this as it’s a business expense, it has made me realise how much it costs to be a farmer and how much of a risk you spend upfront before you get full payment from your harvested crops.
Total spend: £0
Lamb chaos. We noticed one of the lambs had a swollen red eye so we took a photo and sent it to the vets. The vets said it was best to get an ointment to treat it. This isn’t an easy feat as you need to first catch the lamb and then administer the ointment daily. Lambs are a pain to catch, they are nimble and speedy.
However, first we needed to get the lotion from the vets, and vets are not cheap. This costs the business money but luckily not me. It’s making me understand how much it costs to run a family business, it’s not dissimilar to the money I was spending in London.
Total spend: £0
Come quarantine with me. Every day has been blending into one, so we’ve decided to have a special dinner once a week as a family. There’s a fancy dress theme and going over the top is advised.
A different person hosts it each week and cooks food associated with said theme. This is a great way to be creative with food, share the cooking and it doesn’t cost any extra dimes. We each get rated with a score, because there’s four of us we pronounce the winner at the end of the fourth week. Dad is at a slight disadvantage as his cooking often comes with a health warning. As a family we’ve had to find creative ways to keep entertained that are low on cost:
We have cinema afternoons on a Sunday
Special dinner once a week
Games nights, scrabble is a current favourite
Garden workouts (usually with sheep bleating at us)
Total spend: £0
A tricky sell. I sold one of my cameras and lenses today for extra cash to pay rent, as a photographer you need at least two cameras for events or shoots. Two reasons: if one goes wrong you have a back up, and secondly, during events you want a different lens on each camera to capture moments quickly.
This gave me an extra £450 which is great but doesn’t even cover one month’s rent. I’ve been doing some photo editing on the side with clients who need it/can afford it. This has helped immensely even though I only earn around £100 a month, every little helps.
Total spend: £0
More blogs from the BBC’s My Money Series:
Internal debate. Sadly since corona I’ve had three second-hand (borrowed) phones die on me, as my phone broke just before corona. Not through any fault of my own, they all just bit the dust one after another.
A few thoughts came to my head: that I probably shouldn’t buy a new phone when currently I’m only losing money, and in theory I won’t receive money from the government as a self employed taxpayer until June. However, as I’m doing social media for my photography business (Anna Rachel Photography) and my Mum’s farm park, I would struggle to do both without a phone (I’ve already been stealing my Mum’s for a good week, she isn’t too pleased).
So I decided to bite the bullet and buy one. My savings have covered it and my theory is that I will need a new phone at some point anyway. Still a very scary decision, which took weeks of back-and-forth and an internal debate.
Total spend: £400
Farming isn’t cheap. Sunday is a slow day, we wake up, feed the lambs, Dad and I go on a bike ride spying on all the other farmers’ fields and then run the stall from outside the cafe.
Sunday is really the only rest day for farmers. My Dad wears his smarter clothes, and we try and not farm unless there’s an emergency, like this week.
We got a phone call from our next-door neighbours saying we had piglets on the road. We hopped in the car but after driving up and down the road we couldn’t find any loose piglets. This left us stumped for ages trying to figure out how they had gotten out. Eventually we realised they were getting under a fence.
Often on farms you need to spend money on repairs. This week we’ve bought lamb ointment, bolts for the tractor, lamb powder and a new nozzle for the sprayer. Expenses I know I couldn’t afford this right now, but I feel fortunate that my Dad can keep the farm going.
Total spend: £0
Pre-corona spend: *£261.21
*Since corona I’ve stopped paying for a workspace, unsubscribed from lots of subscriptions, and the Adobe software company has paused payment on memberships during corona.
Post-corona spend: £22
Including new phone (an irregular expense): £422
How does Anna feel about her week?
Whilst at the abattoir this week we got chatting to a 76-year-old farmer waiting in line (at a distance) and he mentioned how farmers are struggling so much during this crisis. Every farmer gets the single farm payment every year from the EU. This helps to covers costs as the supermarkets often don’t pay farmers enough for their produce.
However these farm payments often don’t leave room for savings, so lots of farmers don’t have pensions, they will work their whole lives with an uncertain retirement. When I say “work” I’m talking about 12-hour shifts every day, on their feet, in the cold, it’s hard labour (as I’ve discovered).
But they never complain and always greet you with a smile. This week I’ve realised I may be losing money and paying for things I can’t afford but I feel very lucky to have learned so much about where our food comes from. Farmers are key workers that often get forgotten about.
They are constant key workers as without them we’d all have empty bellies. I guess I feel grateful for the farmers we have in the UK and lucky that I am involved in the process.
You may be eating some of the quinoa I’ve planted this time next year (if it rains)!
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A fake passport was offered for sale on Twitter for £3,000 Social-media companies are failing to clamp down on scammers selling people’s personal details through their platforms, an investigation from consumer watchdog Which? has shown.It found 50 profiles, pages and groups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offering stolen credit-card…
Social-media companies are failing to clamp down on scammers selling people’s personal details through their platforms, an investigation from consumer watchdog Which? has shown.
It found 50 profiles, pages and groups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offering stolen credit-card details, and Netflix and Uber Eats accounts.
And much of the content had remained on the platforms after being reported.
Facebook and Twitter said such activity was not tolerated and would be removed.
The investigation, carried out before the coronavirus lockdown, found one Facebook post revealing a Yorkshire man’s:
date of birth
mobile phone number
credit-card number, security code and expiry data
bank name and sort code
According to Which?, the post had been live for four months.
Which? said it had reported it to Facebook but the social network had refused to remove it because it did not breach its community standards.
Only after Which? had requested a review of that decision had the post been removed – and, even then, the group in which it had been posted had remained active.
In response, Facebook, which also owns Instagram, told BBC News it had now acted to take down all the content.
“Fraudulent activity is not tolerated on our platforms and we have removed the groups and profiles flagged to us by Which?… for violating our policies.”
“We continue to invest in people and technology to identify and remove fraudulent content and we urge people to report any suspicious content to us so we can take action.”
On Twitter, investigators found fraudsters offering:
the full credit-card details of someone with a “£13,000 plus balance” for £100 – or three sets of card details for £200
a fake passport for £3,000
Which? said it had found the content simply by searching for slang terms for fraud.
And Twitter’s algorithms had then even suggested similar accounts via its “Who to follow” section.
Twitter said it was against its rules “to use scam tactics to obtain money or private financial information”.
“Where we identify violations of our rules, we take robust enforcement action,” it said.
“We’re constantly adapting to bad actors’ evolving methods and will continue to iterate and improve upon our polices as the industry evolves.”
All accounts provided to it by Which? have now been suspended.
Which? Money editor Jenny Ross said: “It’s astonishing that social media sites make it so easy for criminals to trade people’s personal and financial information, particularly as fraud is such a prevalent crime that can have devastating consequences.”
She called on Facebook and Twitter “to take stronger action to prevent their sites becoming a safe haven for scammers” and “work with the financial industry and police to address serious flaws with their platforms”.
Image copyright Getty Images In our series of letters from African journalists, Waihiga Mwaura writes from Kenya about concerns that money set aside for the fight against coronavirus is being misspent.The hashtag #Money Heist has been trending on Twitter in Kenya in recent days – not because of the Netflix series which featured a memorable…
In our series of letters from African journalists, Waihiga Mwaura writes from Kenya about concerns that money set aside for the fight against coronavirus is being misspent.
The hashtag #Money Heist has been trending on Twitter in Kenya in recent days – not because of the Netflix series which featured a memorable character called Nairobi but because of a controversial report presented by Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe to parliament.
The report was a breakdown of how 1.3bn Kenyan shillings ($12.2m; £9.8m), mostly donated by the World Bank, was used in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
What caught the attention of the parliamentary committee and Kenyans at large was the cost of some of the items procured or leased.
It showed that 42m shillings was used to lease ambulances, 4m shillings went on tea and snacks, and 70m shillings on communication.
Kenya’s vibrant online community immediately began to question some of the expenses.
Why lease 15 ambulances at that amount instead of just purchasing new ambulances or using the existing fleet?
Why allocate 2m shillings for mobile phone airtime when telecommunications company Safaricom had offered officials involved in the fight against the virus a free package?
Had the airtime previously allocated to the health ministry for the 2019/2020 financial year already been exhausted?
Why was 70m shillings allocated for communication, bearing in mind that media houses had already contributed to airtime for coronavirus-related news updates?
Nevertheless, the damage was done and the government was forced to defend itself. President Uhuru Kenyatta denied that any money had been misappropriated or stolen, while Mr Kagwe dismissed the allegations as “propaganda”.
Official’s tweet deleted
But shortly thereafter Mr Kagwe carried out a reshuffle in his ministry, transferring 30 senior procurement and accounting officers, according to Kenya’s leading Daily Nation newspaper.
Was this an already scheduled reshuffle or was it a reaction to the hue and cry over the expenditure?
What confused many was that the most senior civil servant in the ministry, Susan Mochache, tweeted a statement saying that they had not received the “complete amount of 1 billion kshs from the World Bank and no money had been spent at all”. The tweet with those details was hurriedly deleted.
So why did the ministry present a report to parliament with a column entitled “funds used”?
Auditor-general’s post left empty
It is possible that no money has been lost but at the least there is a lack of proper co-ordination within the ministry at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.
Kenyans are worried because the ministry is no stranger to controversy – the auditor-general could not account for 10.9bn shillings allocated to the ministry in the 2017/18 financial year and a similar amount in the 2015/16 financial year.
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Kenya has waded into the controversy, calling for greater transparency and accountability of Covid-19 funds.
But the problem is that the post of auditor-general remains vacant nine months after its previous occupant retired.
It is not just in Kenya where there has been a hue and cry over money allocated to fight Covid-19.
We can ill afford a corruption pandemic on top of a health pandemic.”
Across the border in Uganda, the High Court ordered MPs to hand back $5,000 (about £4,000) given to each of them to fight coronavirus in their constituencies.
The MPs had allocated themselves about $2.6m in total to raise public awareness about Covid-19.
In South Africa, the government is under pressure from the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) to explain how 37 million rand ($3m; £1,6m) could be spent on a 40km (25 mile) border fence to keep Zimbabweans with coronavirus out.
Images circulating online show that the razor wire fence has already been cut through, and the DA has described it as a “washing line”.
Image copyright Facebook Image caption The shopping feature will also eventually integrate with live streams Nearly a million businesses in the UK and around the world can now set up a single online store to sell products, with no fee, on Facebook and Instagram.The initial stage of the Facebook Shops rollout has been brought forward…
Nearly a million businesses in the UK and around the world can now set up a single online store to sell products, with no fee, on Facebook and Instagram.
The initial stage of the Facebook Shops rollout has been brought forward and extended because of Covid-19.
The stores will appear on business pages, Instagram profiles and through targeted ads.
The company has already used a no-fees approach in its Facebook Marketplace for personal classifieds.
“It’s bigger than usual just because we want to make sure we’re moving quickly to get these tools in the hands of as many businesses wherever they are, big or small, to help them survive during this time,” Facebook’s Layla Amjadi said.
And product manager George Lee said it had been in the pipeline for at least half a year.
“Obviously, given the current situation, we have accelerated a lot of our efforts,” he said.
“We’re in a unique position to be able to contribute to the survival of a bunch of these businesses.”
The shopping feature will also eventually appear on WhatsApp and the company’s other messaging apps and integrate with live streams.
For the average Facebook user, “this will be a really seamless experience,” Ms Amjadi said.
“You can go much deeper now without having to leave the app.”
Once a buyer decides they want to spend money, they will usually be directed to the company’s website to complete the transaction.
And if problems arise or a buyer wants to ask questions, they can do so through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct messages, some of which are already used by companies for that purpose.
The rollout is part of a wider range of changes planned for shopping across Facebook’s products, including:
a loyalty scheme that will link things such as points from local coffee shops to Facebook
a Shop button, where products and brands will be showcased, on Instagram’s main navigation bar
Anthony Ha, a senior writer at technology news site TechCrunch, said the pandemic lockdown may have worked in Facebook’s favour.
“After all, if your favourite store has changed their hours, or switched to online delivery or kerb-side pickup, they’ve almost certainly posted about it on Facebook or Instagram,” he said.
“So it makes sense for Facebook to make the purchase process as easy as possible from those profiles.
“From a business perspective, the obvious goal is to drive more advertising.
“But it’s also worth remembering that the pandemic’s economic fallout will likely kill off many small business – including the ones that post and advertise on Facebook.
“So the company has a stake in helping those businesses survive in any way it can.”
The BBC has said it will have to “think hard about every pound” it spends on new programmes because of financial pressures during the current lockdown.Delays to a new licence fee regime for people over 75 and problems collecting fees are among the challenges cited.Staff have been told the BBC will have to find £125m…
The BBC has said it will have to “think hard about every pound” it spends on new programmes because of financial pressures during the current lockdown.
Media playback is not supported on this device ‘No day comes easy’ – Cole speaks to BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast about self-isolationFormer Manchester United, Newcastle and England striker Andrew Cole has opened up about his “daily grind” in shielding from the coronavirus pandemic.Cole is one of over a million people more vulnerable to the…
Former Manchester United, Newcastle and England striker Andrew Cole has opened up about his “daily grind” in shielding from the coronavirus pandemic.
The 48-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live that “no day comes easy” as he continues to self-isolate alone.
“It’s a difficult period but it’s just a case of getting your head down and doing what you can,” he said.
“You don’t know how you’re going to feel, and there are good days and bad days.
“It’s a total lack of energy and you question yourself on what you did the day before, but you cannot come up with an answer because you did nothing yesterday to make you feel like you do today.
“Mentally, that is when it starts to get to you a bit.”
Cole, who won 15 England caps, also played for Arsenal, Fulham, Bristol City, Blackburn, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Sunderland, Burnley and Nottingham Forest in a 19-year career.
He remains the third highest scorer in Premier League history with 187 goals, winning five league titles, two FA Cups and the 1999 Champions League with Manchester United, and a League Cup with Blackburn.
Cole suffered kidney failure in 2015 after contracting an airborne virus, and now says a lack of human interaction is one of the “toughest challenges”.
“The first couple of weeks were not bad but the last month or so has been really difficult due to the fact you’re not allowed to go out,” he added.
“You can talk on the phone or on Zoom, but ultimately, the difficult part has been not being able to interact with people.
“I’ve been by myself and I think we will all spend more times with friends and family after this because you just don’t know what’s going to happen in the world nowadays.”
The former striker has set up the Andy Cole Fund to raise money for kidney research, but he says raising awareness of the illness is more important than the funds.
“People do not understand how difficult an illness this is,” he said.
“People ask me if I’m OK because I look really well, but I try and explain to them that I’m never going to be OK.
“However you look on the outside is not how you feel on the inside.”
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Possible ways of distancing people at beaches could include separating bathers with plexiglass Sun loungers separated by plexiglass. Blood tests and sanitiser spray-downs before flights. These might sound extreme, but they are real measures some in the travel industry are looking at to keep holidaymakers feeling safe and comfortable…
Sun loungers separated by plexiglass. Blood tests and sanitiser spray-downs before flights. These might sound extreme, but they are real measures some in the travel industry are looking at to keep holidaymakers feeling safe and comfortable in a post-lockdown world.
It’s too early to say when international travel might restart again – Argentina, for example, has extended flight bans until September and a UK minister has said he won’t be booking a summer holiday anytime soon.
But what will overseas trips look like when they’re able to be taken again?
Here’s what you might expect.
Many airports, including in London, have already introduced measures to cater for essential travellers based on government guidelines – so they might sound familiar.
These include between one and two-metre distancing at all times (excluding people who live together), hand sanitisers distributed throughout the airport and efforts to spread passengers more evenly across terminals.
In the US, the Transport Security Administration (TSA) says travellers should wash their hands for 20 seconds – in accordance with official guidelines – before and after the security screening process.
But, at Hong Kong International Airport, testing is under way on a full-body disinfectant device. This, the airport says, can sanitise users within 40 seconds, using sprays that kill bacteria and viruses on skin and clothing.
Airports that have electronic check-in kiosks are encouraging passengers to use them where possible to avoid unnecessary interaction.
Most will display posters that explain guidance measures and instructions throughout their buildings.
James Thornton, chief executive of Intrepid travel group, says the process of passing through airports is likely to take longer because of stricter checks.
“Just as taking out liquids and devices before going through machines has become the norm, so too will new social distancing guidelines,” he says, adding: “It’s possible we’ll see the introduction of an immunity passport.”
Earlier this year, several airports announced they were introducing “thermal detection screening” in efforts to prevent the further spread of the virus overseas.
However, the procedure divided experts on its effectiveness, as some people are said to be asymptomatic, and many airports will not be introducing it.
Some have gone further, though, with Emirates offering passengers rapid Covid-19 blood tests prior to boarding at Dubai airport terminals. Emirates says the tests produce results within 10 minutes.
On the plane
As you take your seat, you’ll have to picture the usual smiles from the flight attendants, who will most likely be wearing masks.
You might choose to smile back, but you’ll probably be wearing one, too – as more and more countries recommend their use.
Your mind, meanwhile, should be at ease in the knowledge that most major airlines will have stepped up their cleaning and sanitation procedures, leaving your tray table, seat rest and safety belt suitably disinfected.
If you’ve booked your flight with Korean Air, don’t be alarmed if people appear in the aisle wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE), as the airline says it plans to issue cabin crew with gowns, gloves and eye masks.
This might be as good a time as any to appreciate that you won’t be sharing either of your armrests, as most airlines have said that flights will not be fully booked and middle seats will be kept empty (at least to begin with).
An airline pilot for Tui, who asked to be named only as Christian, said that while spreading passengers on a plane made sense in respect of distancing guidelines, it could prove “hugely prohibitive” and costly.
“Losing a third of seats means either that airlines fly at a loss, or we go back to the good old days when a Paris to Nice return ticket used to cost £1,000 (€1,145; $1,245) in today’s money.”
Christian says countries that rely heavily on tourism are already contacting operators. “I believe that we will see a small restart of flights to selected destinations towards the end of the season.”
At your destination
How does an Italian beach holiday sound? Well, you could find yourself weaving between tall sheets of plexiglass used to separate sun loungers as you look for a shady spot in the sand.
“I’ve seen drawings,” says Ulf Sonntag of the Institute for Tourism Research in Northern Europe, “they are seriously considering this as an idea in Italy.”
Nobody has been in this situation before, it’s a process where boundaries are constantly changing.
Mr Sonntag says European destinations are also looking at ways to manage guests at hotels, including only permitting every other hotel to open, or every other room within a building to be occupied.
“If the central aim is social distancing, then they have to work with that. It’s not looking like pools can open at Mediterranean resorts,” he adds.
While restaurants are looking at spreading tables more sparsely, one Portuguese hotel chain, Vila Gale, said it had been “stocking up on hand sanitisers” and “drawing up a la carte menus to replace buffets”.
Nikolaos Sipsas, a professor of medicine in Athens, agrees that buffet meals are a big risk, along with pools, bars and beaches.
“I see Greek beaches being sparsely populated, in other words there will be bathers, but they won’t be close to each other. We will not see the phenomenon of organised beaches with towels right next to each other,” he says.
Other European countries have been discussing “tourist corridors” to connect areas and member states least affected by Covid-19.
Croatia, for example, has already said that it may provide tourists from the Czech Republic and Slovakia with special access to its beaches this summer.
Will this change the future of travel for good?
You might not have enjoyed the sound of that hypothetical overseas holiday. And you’re probably not alone. The fact is, more holidays in future are likely to be taken at home.
“People are likely to be travelling less internationally, what used to be called a staycation will change, and could become the norm,” Andy Rutherford, founder of UK-based tour operator Fresh Eyes, says.
In the wake of the global pandemic, ship cruises, ski holidays and long-haul flights could lose their appeal, especially as the focus returns to green technology and ways to tackle the climate crisis, Mr Rutherford says. “Our commitment to travel must be based on mutual respect, solidarity and responsibility.”
Mr Sonntag agrees the pandemic may result in a change of habits: “Domestic travel might make people realise that you don’t always need to travel so far.”
A recent survey by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found that 60% of people questioned would wait for two months before booking flights after the coronavirus is contained – 40% said they would wait for at least six months.
Boeing, which has cut 10% of its global workforce in response to Covid-19, has said it does not expect air travel to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023.
IAG, the parent company of British Airways, said it could take “several years”.