ON Good Friday Saints player would normally have been going into battle with rivals Wigan in one of the biggest games of the season.

However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the players have been helping lift some of the older Saints fans' spirits by giving them a phone call.

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.

Of those who were delighted to have receive a call was Roy Sharples, from Thatto Heath who spoke to Theo Fages.

Roy, 82, is a stalwart of the amateur game, having been secretary of BARLA Lancashire for 19 years as well as secretary at Thatto Heath.

Roy said: "It was lovely, I had a little natter with him.

"It was out of the blue and I just said 'hello' and I thought who is this!

"I told him I watched the amateur game, with Thatto Heath and other clubs."

Roy, who has been watching rugby since his dad first took him in 1949, says his favourite ever player is Tom van Vollenhoven, who he once met when he came to the Thatto Heath club

"I've been missing going to the rugby, it's terrible but I'm happy I've got a nice garden in the back, it's never looked as smart," he added.

Roy added: "I said to him: 'I bet you'll be glad when it restarts' and he said 'I can't wait to go back on the field again'. I said I'll give him an extra cheer for ringing me up!"

Meanwhile, Lynne Powell, from Rainford was another who received phone calls along with husband Reg.

"We'd had a call from the Saints Foundation asking were we alright, was there anything we could help with.

"I got a phone call from Dom Peyroux, he was lovely, it was just a nice conversation. A couple of says later we got a call from Regan Grace as both my husband and I are season ticket holders.

"Credit where credit is due. We're lucky, we don't have to go out but we are missing contact with people and it was nice to get a couple of phone calls out of the blue.

"They were genuine conversations, these players were not just paying lip service, it was lovely to hear from them."