Crystal Palace manager Hodgson: “Players are keeping fit and contributing to helping out in the community”

Crystal Palace staff have been phoning the club’s over-70s fans to check on their health during lockdown, manager Roy Hodgson has revealed.

The Eaglas players have been fundraising for the NHS while confined to their homes on a club-set fitness programme, he said.

And the staff in general have also been supporting the local hard-pressed foodbank near Selhurst Park.

Hodgson said: “The club staff have been calling more than 1,200 season ticket holders over the age of 70 to check they are ok, have a chat, and offer support.  

“Our local food bank near the stadium has been overwhelmed with demand, and whilst I’m immensely saddened by the reality of the service they provide, I’m pleased that we – as a club – are continuing to support their cause.

“I think the players in general have a very generous streak when it comes to charity – they’re never slow to step forward when contributions are needed.  I was impressed to learn that off their own backs many weeks ago, they got together to contribute to several local causes – but furthermore, that all players across the league have combined to provide extra funding for the NHS. All of these things are matters which show footballers and football clubs in the light they deserve to be held in.”

Hodgson also revealed the club had sent him an exercise bike and weights to keep fit during lockdown – and has done so for all the players.

He said: “We’re going to be working really hard to ensure the last nine games don’t see a slide in our performance. We’ll come back motivated, and I have everything crossed that we will be playing in front of you, our magnificent supporters at Selhurst Park as soon as the government and authorities deem it safe to do so.”

He has been keeping fit himself.

He said: “Luckily my wife and I are well. We’re very fortunate to live where we live, in West London, in an apartment which overlooks the River Thames, which is a very pleasant way to spend part of the day, sitting with a book watching the world go by. For our daily walk, we are blessed to be surrounded by parks and green spaces, so we’ve been able to make the best of our lives during this particular period of time.”

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