A DEDICATED football fan suffering cancer received phone calls from four former players, all set up by his son.

David Quainton, 72, is a keen Aston Villa supporter, and has been battling cancer since 2013.

Motivated to lift his dad’s spirits, son Mark Quainton, 48, set about trying to get in touch with some former Villa stars.

The first players to get in touch were Shaun Teale and Garry Thompson, as well as former player and manager Brian Little, with Mr Quainton still unsuspecting as to what was going on.

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“I didn’t know anything about it, and you think ‘is it really happening’ but it was a pleasure to talk to them,” he said.

The duo almost missed one of the calls, as the number popped up as dialling from Australia.

Son Mr Quainton, who works in credit control, said: “When Mark Bosnich called, it was an Australian number so I didn’t answer thinking it was a scam or something.

“Then I got a voicemail that pinged through saying it was Mark Bosnich calling from Australia and he would call back.”

Oxford Mail:

To their utter amazement, the former goalkeeper did just that although dad Mr Quainton joked he was glad the former Australia international didn’t reverse the charges.

He added: “They’re all great for doing it, they’re great people.

“Unfortunately I’m a big Villa fan and I’ve been through the good and the bad.

“It started as the first FA Cup final I watched was Man Utd versus Aston Villa and I tossed a coin with my brother and I got Villa - he got lucky I guess.”

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His son added: “I had to go through a couple of people to get it sorted and I told them that my dad wasn’t well.

“Then someone got back to me with this list of players.

“With Garry Thompson, he was on the phone for a good half hour both times because he even rang back.

“What they’ve done has put a smile on my dad’s face which is good, and shows there are people who care about the vulnerable.”

Oxford Mail:

His dad has suffered with GISTs (gastrointestinal stromal tumours) since July 2013, and has had six operations on his bowel, liver and lungs.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Quainton is deemed too high risk to go into hospital so he is now taking chemotherapy tablets that will hopefully shrink the tumours.

The Yarnton ‘born and bred’ resident left school to work for a building company, before running a decorating shop, the Paint Pot, in Summertown between 1973 and 1996.

Mr Quainton said the shop was ‘a very well known place’ and even renowned zoologist and surrealist painter Desmond Morris often used to visit.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Quainton met his wife Pat, 66, ‘on a Friday night at a pub in Wheatley’ and they have been married for 48 years.