Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson knows all about the work being undertaken by key workers such as the NHS at the moment.
The Lilywhites’ No.4 has a sister who is a nurse and also three other members of his family who work in the NHS and he hopes that their current recognition manifests itself into even more when we get through the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have four members of my family who work in the NHS,” he told PNE.Com from his home this week. “My sister is a nurse as well, so she has been extra busy and it has been years that they have been working like this; underpaid and working more hours than they should and what they are doing now is brilliant and they are finally getting the recognition they deserve after so long.
“It has been in the news that doctors and nurses are sadly dying and I think it shows what a good job they are doing, that they are putting their lives at risk; so a lot of credit should go to them and the government should look at their wages and shift hours, because it is obscene what they do.
“For years people have said what a good job they do and hopefully, at the back end of this, the government can sit down and realise what they have done, how they have put their lives at risk and saved millions of people’s lives and look at their wage structure and what they do in comparison to other people in the country, because they deserve a lot more than they get.”
Pearo went into the enforced lay off with a hamstring injury, and whilst the time off has been good in that respect, he feels there will be work to be done when training is safe to resume.
“It has been good and bad at the same time,” he continued. “It has given me time to let my hamstring heal and I can do my strength work and my fitness work, so I am back ready, but it has scuppered the rehab a little bit.
“I would much prefer to be in the training ground under the guidance of the physio, just so I can get it perfect, rather than having to do it myself. I have been guided through it by Jacko [Matt Jackson], through messages and phone calls, but having that equipment at training and having the knowhow of a physio around you, gives you less doubt when you return, but when we do come back, hopefully I will have a couple of weeks to properly work with the physios and get back to training and get back ready.”
Like everyone else obeying the government’s instructions to ‘stay home’ the former Manchester United man is missing getting out and seeing his team-mates and realises how important it could be when football is allowed to resume.
“I have found that the hardest thing is not having that routine. You probably take football and your job for granted a little bit and under these circumstances you realise it is a massive part of your life and in some ways this prepares you for when you retire a little bit, realising what is to come.
“You miss that every day banter with the lads, having that every day routine, training, doing your gym, having your dinner with all the lads, I think that is a big miss and everyone is the same boat, but you are stuck in the house with that one exercise a day and that is probably the best part of your day. It has been tough, but I am just hoping it doesn’t last too long.
“I spoke to quite a few of the lads. We are all in a WhatsApp group and there is also one with the staff, that they put stuff in for fitness or updates from the league and doctor, so we are all kept in contact.
“It is just different times in the world and maybe for the better we will come out a bit more socially active, a bit more friendly and a bit more kind, so hopefully there will be positives out of this.
“When it re-starts, we will get that feeling of the first game of the season again. It could be a couple of months before we are back in and that will be like the usual summer break; but with no football on, not even friendlies, everyone needs that release, something to watch and something to cheer about.
“Hopefully it isn’t behind closed doors, but even if it is, there will be something to watch, which will make a major difference, because there is nothing currently on other than the news! Just having that bit of sport will be good – I have missed it, so I am sure a lot of people have.”