English Premiership

West Brom striker Charlie Austin urges people to take coronavirus seriously

2020-03-21 09:54
Charlie Austin
Charlie Austin (Getty Images)

West Brom striker Charlie Austin has urged people to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously after being forced into a period of self-isolation by symptoms consistent with the illness.

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, who has been in self-isolation since informing West Brom of his symptoms last weekend but has not been tested for the virus, 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 overcautious than look back thinking that we could have done more."

West Brom later said that "no other players have required testing for coronavirus", while Austin has now made a full recovery from his symptoms.

- TEAMtalk media


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Saturday, 11 April 2020
Norwich City v Brighton & Hove Albion, Carrow Road 02:00
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 02:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 02:00
Southampton v Manchester City, St. Mary's Stadium 02:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 02:00
Burnley v Sheffield United, Turf Moor 02:00
Sunday, 12 April 2020
Liverpool v Aston Villa, Anfield 02:00
Chelsea v Watford, Stamford Bridge 02:00
Monday, 13 April 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal, Molineux Stadium 02:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.