Chester football manager says putting off the Covid jab was 'ridiculous' after near-death experience

Video report by ITV Granada Reports sport reporter Chris Hall.

Chester FC's joint-manager, Anthony Johnson, says his decision to "put off" getting the Covid-19 vaccine was "ridiculous", after the coronavirus nearly killed him.

Johnson, 38 years old with three children, was hospitalised in the summer, suffering from dangerously low blood oxygen, blood clots on his lungs and kidney failure.

"I tested positive on a Monday. By the following Monday I was in a bad state," he recalls.

"My temperature was 42 degrees and I was vomiting. I went to the toilet and two nurses had to come in and lift me off the floor.

"I remember thinking that I'd never felt like this in my life. I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up."

For his joint-manager and friend, Bernard Morley, it was an anxious wait to see if he pulled through.

He joined the players and staff at Chester FC in sending Johnson video messages of support, while taking sole charge on the touchline on matchday.

Both managers had yet to have their Covid vaccine.

"He was getting worse and worse and wasn't even texting me back," says Morley.

 "And then I knew things were bad because I got a message saying: 'Please do me a big favour. Please go and get vaccinated, pal.'

"It's alright saying I didn't have time. You have to make time. So I went there and it was done in 15 minutes.

"Go and get it done. Look at what you could leave behind. The potential of what Anthony could have left behind is frightening."

Chester Manager Anthony Johnson on the sidelines in 2018. Credit: PA

Johnson is now healthy and back roaring from the touchline once more. But he says he'll always regret delaying getting the jab.

"Somebody asked me why I hadn't had the jab and I said I was busy," he said.

"I'm not anti-vax or even pro-vax, for that matter. I'm not here to push an agenda. I'm just passing on my experience to anyone who wants to listen. That's all I can do.

"If I could go back a few weeks, I'd pay every single penny in my bank account to have the vaccine and to not to go through what I go through and not to put my family, friends and football club what they went through."

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