WHILE the scale of the restrictions aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, it is not completely uncharted territory for Derek Fazackerley.

Oxford United’s first team coach remembers being a teenager when Blackburn was hit by a polio epidemic in 1965.

He said: “The town was closed down, nobody was allowed in or out and the Rovers missed the first few games of the season.

“They were unable to catch up and they ended up getting relegated from the First Division.

“That’s the only thing I can remember in my time in football where a similar thing has happened, although it was at a local level.”

Fazackerley, who grew up in Preston, has also had some experience of being cut off from the rest of the world.

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“When I was a kid I got scarlet fever and had to go into an isolation hospital for a week or so,” he said.

“The hospital was about a mile from Deepdale so you used to get plenty of supporters walking past.

“I can remember leaning out of the window trying to find out what the score was because I would’ve normally gone.”