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Matt Ritchie speaks out on lockdown

5 months ago
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Matt Ritchie has been speaking out about life under lockdown.

Despite constant speculation about him moving back down south to be with his family, he instead signed a new contract with Newcastle jut before lockdown came in.

Ironically, since signing the contract committing him to another few years in this northern outpost, Matt Ritchie has spent almost the entire time on the south coast.

He has moved there to spend the lockdown time at his family home with wife and two kids, plus their four horses and two sheep, plus chickens.

Matt Ritchie describes these strange times as ‘bittersweet’, great to spend more time with family but missing the football.

It sounds a bit like our house, although sometimes you can see a little bit too much of your immediate family…!

Matt Ritchie pays tribute to the people who as well as NHS staff, are continuing to work as usual: ‘People in supermarkets who are seeing hundreds of people every day, delivery drivers, postmen and women. They’re trying to keep things going and to keep some normality. I extend a big thank you to all of them.’

When it is decided that on balance it is the right time for footballers to start playing again, then I trust the players will get back to work without any complaints, just like the rest of us will have to do.

I can’t imagine Matt Ritchie would ever fall into this category but it will be embarrassing if you get some Premier League players who think they are some kind of special case, able to still earn millions of pounds and yet refuse to work / play because it is ‘too dangerous’, yet at the same think it is ok for people on minimum wage to be working in factories and shops, as well as those working in care homes or wherever.

Matt Ritchie talking to official club site:

“Lockdown is bittersweet.

“Like everyone else, I’m trying to make the best of it.

“I’m getting to spend time with my family and enjoy things at home that normally I don’t really get time to.

“Usually it’s during the summer break and only for a short period of time, so I’m making the most of a bad situation.

“I’m getting involved with the animals, which I really enjoy.

“And when I was a kid, my grandad was a chippy (joiner) so I’ve been pottering in my own shed, making shelves and little things like that.

“But I hope something like this doesn’t happen again because these are very uncertain times.

“As much as there are lots of things at home that you enjoy, there are things at the club that you miss at the same time, for sure.

“The feeling you get from winning together, from playing with that pressure.

“You go out at three o’clock on a Saturday and have the pressure to perform, to get three points and to have success – you can’t replace that with anything.

“The feeling, the atmosphere, even the smell. At this time of year especially, the grass has been cut, the sprinklers are on. It’s that unique feeling of being at a football ground.

“I’ve also missed going into the Training Ground and seeing the lads, popping in the offices. You can’t replace it.

“It’s so important to follow the guidance, it [the virus] can be spread easily and the figures of people getting it are unbelievable.

“If people can stay at home and abide by the rules, hopefully we can come out of the other side of it quicker than people might hope or expect.”

“For the people who are still working and who are providing for their communities, it really is an unbelievable thing and it’s something they should all be proud of.

“The NHS is something we’re all really pleased to support and as players, the #PlayersTogether campaign is something we’re proud to be part of.

“People in supermarkets who are seeing hundreds of people every day, delivery drivers, postmen and women. They’re trying to keep things going and to keep some normality.

“I extend a big thank you to all of them.”

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