Birmingham & Black Country

Coventry virus victim's son urges people to social distance

Neil Hames with his father, Walter Image copyright Neil Hames
Image caption Wally, pictured with his son Neil, had been self-isolating before his death

The son of a man who died after contracting coronavirus has said people are not taking social distancing rules and advice seriously enough.

Neil Hames' dad Walter, known as Wally, died on Sunday after self-isolating at his home in Yardley, Birmingham.

The 75-year-old former Coventry City footballer was a "strong man", Mr Hames said. "If this can affect my family, it can affect anyone's.

Mr Hames said "faceless" victims means people flout new distancing rules.

Since people have been asked to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus, Mr Hames, who lives in Solihull, said he was shocked at people ignoring the rules.

"Please take this seriously," he said. "If you could see my dad and what he went through... When this gets close to home you do not want this."

Mr Hames died in hospital at about 22:30 GMT on Sunday. He started isolating with his wife in March after showing symptoms.

"My poor mum is still in isolation," Mr Hames said. "I moved the garden furniture on to her driveway to talk to her while she sits in the porch."

He remembered his dad as "the most amazing man" and a keen gardener who liked to keep fit.

Coventy City FC said it was saddened to learn the death of Mr Hames, who was at the club in the 1960s and played in its reserve side.

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