Burgess explains how Pompey squad have been offering their time and money

Pompey fans might have spotted some familiar faces around the city during the coronavirus crisis.

Several Blues players have offered their time to deliver food and essential products to vulnerable people in the local community.

But the entire squad also combined to make a financial contribution and help lift spirits during these troubling times.

And Christian Burgess – who has been particularly busy – revealed exactly what they have been up to in the past few weeks.

The centre-back said: “I’ve been doing some food deliveries along with the PitC guys, working under the HIVE Portsmouth umbrella.

“I’ve also been doing work with the Enable Ability charity, who are cooking lots of meals at Landport Community Centre for people who are struggling at the moment.

“There are people who are elderly or unable to leave the house for medical reasons, so it’s a valuable service.

“I’ve been delivering prescriptions on Hayling Island with guys from the boxing academy and the Hayling Helpers, who are doing a fantastic job.

“It’s great for people who have underlying conditions and means they don’t have to go out and put themselves at risk.

“A lot of the players are helping out, with Cameron McGeehan and Sean Raggett both coming into the kitchen.

“Ben Close has been a regular on food deliveries, although I don’t think he’s confident with his cooking skills!

“Everyone’s circumstances are different, though, and guys with young families or regular contact with older members of the family might not be able to come out and help.

“But John Marquis got everyone to donate money into our own fund with Pompey in the Community (PitC). It wasn’t mandatory, but every member of the squad wanted to contribute.

“We decided to give some to the Portsmouth Hospitals Thank You Appeal and also create care packages for some of our disabled season ticket holders.

“John and Cam were out delivering those on Friday, while Tom Naylor and I were on duty on Thursday, and Closey and Andy Cannon did it the previous day.

“Clare Martin from PitC devised the plan and it has seemed to give them a real boost, so it’s really nice to be able to help.

“There’s a lot of flexibility at the moment about when we do our fitness work, so there’s time during the day to get out and help people. It’s great to support those who really need it.”

Residents of Hayling Island might have done a double take last week, when Burgess was spotted doing his deliveries in an unusual mode of transport.

“The guys at the boxing academy – where I’ve been helping a couple of times a week – wanted to do something a bit different for VE Day,” he explained.

“One of the locals owns an armoured personnel carrier, so I was chosen to go on there and help deliver prescriptions.

“We went to see people who were around during VE Day and also gave out some cream teas. It was something a little bit different to celebrate the occasion.

“I wasn’t driving it – they’re not stupid. But it did seem to brighten up the day for a lot of people we saw.”