Irish international Curtis lending support to team-mate who contracted Covid-19

Andy Cannon, who Ronan Curtis rooms with on away trips, is one of five Portsmouth players affected.

Ronan Curtis in possession for Ireland during last September's friendly win against Bulgaria.
Ronan Curtis in possession for Ireland during last September's friendly win against Bulgaria.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

RONAN CURTIS HAD hoped to be in Bratislava today, preparing for the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia which was scheduled for tomorrow evening.

Instead, the threat of Covid-19 has restricted him to his home near Portsmouth. Having come into close contact with the virus, he’s more than happy to stay put.

Last week, the Portsmouth FC squad were all tested. Curtis was relieved to be given the all-clear, but the results came back positive for four of his team-mates – Andy Cannon, Sean Raggett, James Bolton and Haji Mnoga.

Yesterday, the League One club revealed that a fifth player – Ross McCrorie – is also self-isolating after testing positive.

“Andy said it felt like a really bad cold, with a tight chest, bad headaches, that sort of thing. He was sweating one minute and freezing cold the next,” Curtis says of Cannon, who is his room-mate on away trips.

Curtis has remained at home with his parents, brother and girlfriend since last week. His mother, Derry woman Marie, has been doing her best to aid Cannon’s recovery by delivering home-cooked meals to the 24-year-old midfielder. 

“Every time we make food, we do some for Andy as well,” Curtis says. “He only lives five or 10 minutes away so we drive it over and leave it at the front door for him.

Screen Shot 2020-03-25 at 17.35.42 Source: Twitter

“We’re a close group and we all pull together. I think everyone is tearing their hair out at this stage, but you just have to stay safe and give support to people who need it until it all blows over.

“I don’t mind how long I have to stay inside as long as it’s for the good of my health and the health of everyone else.”

Curtis had been in fine form on the pitch before football was suspended. With 13 goals in all competitions, the 23-year-old attacker is the leading goalscorer for a Portsmouth side who are in the promotion play-off places in League One. 

“It’s more important than football, of course, but it’s still frustrating,” he says. “Things have been going well and we were pushing for promotion until everything just stopped.

‘It would have been great to be involved with Ireland this week as well. It’s disappointing but it’s not the end of the world either. Hopefully we’ll all get through this and we can start looking forward to things like football again soon.”

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Paul Dollery

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