Aberdeen players past and present have been boosting spirits by calling fans in isolation at home.
As part of the club’s Still Standing Free campaign, Dons players have drawn a list of 3,000 elderly and vulnerable supporters so the current first-team squad and club legends can call them for a chinwag.
Younger fans self-isolating at home have also been getting calls, including The Evening Express’s court reporter and Dons fanatic Daniel McKay – who revealed his shock after getting a call from club captain Joe Lewis.
During their conversation yesterday, the pair chatted about missing the Pittodrie matchday atmosphere, keeping fit in the meantime and how the players were staying in touch with each other on a WhatsApp group.
Daniel, 27, said: “I couldn’t believe it – Joe is one of my favourite players and so to hear from him when I am stuck in the house was a real pick-me-up. One of my best memories of this season was Joe’s brilliant penalty save at Motherwell.
“I said to him that it was a shame the Dons couldn’t fit in one final game – the one planned for March 13 – before all football was put off, but everyone understands why.
“It’s brilliant that the club are raising people’s spirits with these calls.”
Between them, Joe and his team-mates Andy Considine, Scott McKenna and Shay Logan, along with former players Neil Simpson and Tony Docherty, have made more than 200 calls this week, with most of those getting calls aged over 70.
Calls will continue in the coming days and, once the club has telephoned all 3,500 fans aged over 70 on its database, players will begin calling other fans who have been in touch with its outreach services.
The club’s supporter liaison officer Lynn Fiske has started to contact all disabled fans to ensure they have all the support they need during the current crisis.
Aberdeen FC’s commercial staff have also been calling clients to check in and offer support, while the club’s directors have been calling key club partners to offer help.
Last Saturday, hundreds of fans took to social media to show off their red-and-white colours in support of the Dons on the day they would have Livingston.
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The club has also teamed up with CFINE so its volunteers can help the charity delivery meals to homeless and vulnerable people.
The club’s chairman Dave Cormack said: “The club has been at the heart of our community for more than 100 years.
“We stand ready to do whatever we can to assist the community in what is a rapidly escalating, unprecedented situation.
“Our response to the crisis facing us is one of solidarity and support.
“As we face not only an as-yet undetermined pause on football, but a much bigger global threat, we can provide familiarity in an unfamiliar world.”