IN a normal week they would have been gearing up for one of the biggest clashes of the season.

But these are not ordinary times for any us and, like many people across the town, the Saints rugby league squad have seen their everyday lives and routines turned upside down amid the coronavirus crisis.

So rather than building up for the Good Friday battle with Wigan, this week they continued doing their best to keep in shape while spending time at home with their families.

Under the radar though, the players have been doing their bit to keep up the spirits of older and more vulnerable people in town.

The Star understands that after learning that Steve Leonard, of the Saints Community Foundation, had been busily ringing round to check on the welfare of season ticket holders over the age of 70, the players asked to become involved.

The acts of goodwill have been encouraged by coach Kristian Woolf.

St Helens Star: Kristian Woolf wants strong action to be taken in the face of the coronavirus threat

Coach Kristian Woolf has supported the players' actions

And so over the past few days, these older fans have been answering the phone to find the likes of Alex Walmsley or Regan Grace on the other end asking about their wellbeing.

According to a source close to the club, the whole squad has been taking part.

The source said this was very much about the squad wanting to "do the right thing as a group of people" and it is not something they had been seeking publicity for.

In fact, the players' calls only emerged after supporters took to social media to say they, or one of their relatives, had taken a call.

One of the big concerns about the lockdown is the effect isolation could have on older and vulnerable members of the the community.

A chat with the players certainly appears to have lifted spirits of those who have received phone calls.

One son wrote on social media: "My dad is a season ticket holder at St Helens RLFC. He has just called me to say that he has received a call from Zeb Taia if he is OK and if there is anything that he needs.

"Just wanted to share this as I thought it was amazing from a professional sports team."

St Helens Star: Zeb Taia in action. Picture: Bernard Platt

Zeb Taia made one supporter's day

Another son took to Twitter to directly thank Walmsley for making a call.

Steve Ashcroft wrote: "Massive thank you to @engwalmsley and @Saints1890 for ringing my 82-year-old dad today to see if he needed help. #StayHomeSaveLives #communityspirit #COYS."

To which the big prop responded: "It was a pleasure to speak to him. All of the boys have been ringing our elderly @Saints1890 members, just checking in #StayHomeSaveLives"

It's just another sign of St Helens pulling together.

Are you a Saints supporter who has received a call from one of the players? Would you like to share your story? 

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