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Coronavirus: Carl Frampton issues plea to fans not to approach boxer amid outbreak

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Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton

PA Wire/PA Images

Carl Frampton

Boxing hero Carl Frampton has had to issue a plea to fans not to approach him during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 33-year-old, who is set to fight Jamel Herring for the WBO World Super Featherweight title once the health crisis is at an end, says he and his family are in isolation at their home.

However, in line with the latest UK Government advice, he is still heading out for infrequent shopping trips in order to get vital food supplies.

It’s then that Frampton says his personal space has been invaded by fans who are refusing to obey the social distancing guidelines of maintaining a two metre gap to other members of the public at all times.

People are taking it seriously but others aren’t

“This is something that angers me,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.

“On the odd occasion, I’ve been going to the shop to pick up groceries and this is when people don’t get it right.

“People are approaching me in lines where there are people standing two metres away and grabbing me for photographs or autographs.

“I feel like I’m a nice guy and I try and make a joke about social distancing but it’s getting to the point where I’m going to have to tell people to go away. This is a very serious matter.

“People are taking it seriously but others aren’t.”

Frampton, of course, is more used than most to the process of isolation.

Before fights, the Jackal leaves his young family, including wife Christine and their two children Carla and Rossa, for up to 12 weeks to immerse himself in a gruelling training camp in England.

He has provided tips for the rest of us entering into the more unfamiliar world of physical separation from loved ones.

“Speaking to people is going to be very important and a big part of getting people through this,” he stressed.

“When I train, I train in Bolton and live in a little flat which isn’t the greatest flat in the world. The area in which we stay isn’t great and sometimes I’m on my own.

“I get out and walk, which you’re allowed to do once a day now, I spend a lot of time on the phone and facetime speaking to friends and family.

“I read a fair bit and I watch a lot of TV too. That seems to be enough to get me by when I’m in isolation in a training camp environment.

“I’m not going to skirt around it - it’s going to be very difficult for people.”

We’ve been socially distancing for a long time now

The Frampton’s family’s isolation now includes home-schooling Carla (9) and Rossa (5).

“Christine has got it all set up and in control and I make an appearance to help but I think I’m more of a hindrance to be honest,” he laughed.

“I’ve one kid who’s not very well behaved so he’s been reprimanded already.

“We’ve been socially distancing for a long time now but for the last few days, we’ve been in isolation here and keeping ourselves to ourselves.

“We’ve been out in the garden but we haven’t been around people.”

It’s a worrying time. I feel anxious and nervous about the whole situation but it’s got to be very hard for the NHS staff

Frampton stressed the importance of abiding by government restrictions in order to save lives.

“I know a doctor who is very much on the front line, head of ICU at the Mater hospital. He’s anxious, he’s worried about the situation and very apprehensive about what is coming,” he said.

“It angers me seeing large groups of people gathering places. I can’t imagine how it makes him and other people working for the NHS feel.

“It’s a worrying time. I feel anxious and nervous about the whole situation but it’s got to be very hard for the NHS staff.”

Belfast Telegraph