Portsmouth's Rangers loanee Ross McCrorie: I went from mowing the lawn to fearing I'd put my family's lives at risk

Ross McCrorie has relived the Covid-19 horror he'd believed put his family’s lives on the line.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 8:31 am

And the Blues loanee has admitted his uncertainty over whether he spread the deadly virus after carrying it without feeling any symptoms.

The Rangers man has told of how his life was turned upside down when being placed into the middle of the pandemic crisis, as one of the first players to test positive for coronavirus.

McCrorie was in a group of five Pompey players that happened to in March after he’d returned to Scotland, as the disease’s impact gripped the world.

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The Scottish prospect recalled how he was cutting his grass at his house outside Glasgow when he was informed of the news, which led to him immediately following the correct protocol.

But that didn’t stop him thinking about those he’d already been around being an asymptomatic carrier.

McCrorie said ‘So I was up the road cutting the grass when the call came.

‘I was out cutting the grass and I got a phone call from (head physio) Bob (Bacic). He told me then my test had come back positive.

Ross McCrorie

‘I was proper shocked and I think I swore at him – I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it so I jumped straight inside the house – then I thought “oh,no”.

‘Within an hour it was all over the news. It was making a lot of headlines, especially here in Scotland.

‘Everyone started to message me like I was dying, but I’d not had any symptoms at all.

‘I appreciated all the messages but I felt like there was nothing wrong with me.

‘That’s the scary part of it, to be fair. A lot of people could have it, not realise and it could’ve affected a lot more (people).

‘I had nothing but thankfully I was able to get tested and be able to self-isolate away from others for a period of time.

‘I don’t think any of us had any symptoms and that’s the crazy part of it.’

After receiving the news of the positive test McCrorie was left in a panicked state, not because of his condition but fears over the health of his loved ones.

The 22-year-old had been in contact with his family - including his grandad who was in his 70s - before the government lockdown was enforced on March 23.

It was the next day he received the phone call which left him worried for the health of those dear to him.

‘I went up on the Friday after the game got cancelled, because the gaffer said we’d probably be in lockdown for a couple of weeks,’ McCrorie added. ‘I thought I’d be back down but it ended up being three months!

‘To be honest, I was more panicked because I’d been near my mum and my papa (granddad).

‘I’d only been with them for the one day but it was the fact I’d been to my papa’s and visited my sister’s as well.

‘Luckily I wasn’t staying, though, because that would’ve been worse.

‘So I was worried about that but fortunately it was all good in the end.

‘Not even my friends got it when I went to see them, no one picked it. So I feel very fortunate that I never passed it on to anyone one I know.’

McCrorie is now back at his parent club in Scotland, with a return to Fratton Park next season almost certainly off the agenda.

With the prospect of an incoming EFL wage cap a permanent move is off the agenda - and the likelihood currently seems to be he’ll fight for his place in Steven Gerrard’s first team at Ibrox.

But the Scotland under-21 captain revealed he’ll always have a fondness for the club where he spent the season and was welcomed with open arms.

That was underlined by people like club stalwart Barry Harris affording him Pompey hospitality.

‘Portsmouth will always have a special place in my heart,’ McCrorie said.

‘When I found out I had the coronavirus I had a phone call and I didn’t know who it was from.

‘I answered it and it was Baz! He was phoning to see if I was okay and let me know he was thinking of me. What a man. He’s brilliant.

‘I didn’t have his number but he’d obviously gone out of his way to get my number and get hold of me.

‘When I first came down I was in the Holiday Inn on my own and he wanted to get me round for a curry, too.

‘It’s things like that which I really appreciated and why the club is so special.

‘It’s wee things like that which made you feel part of the club. It’s like one big family.

‘You’ve got the fans, coaches and staff around the club. It’s one big tight-knit group and it’s great to be fair.

‘I loved my time. It was a great changing room and I got on well with all the boys.

‘You feel welcome and that’s what I liked about the club.’

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