Coronavirus: Geoff Thomas gives isolation tips after cancer recovery

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media captionCoronavirus: Geoff Thomas's tips on coping with isolation

A former England footballer has been giving tips on how to self-isolate, after having to do that himself when he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Midfielder Geoff Thomas, who played for clubs including Wolves, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, was given three months to live.

But after being diagnosed in 2003, he overcame the disease two years later.

Thomas set himself "little goals" and advised "doing little jobs you've been putting off for probably years".

A strong tip would be exercise, he said.

"I have been getting on my static bike. It gives you the virtual sort of experience of getting out on the road.

"You can ride with friends. Maybe in about six weeks' time you may have that six-pack that you've been yearning for for many years."

image copyrightBirmingham City University
image captionGeoff Thomas played for clubs including Crystal Palace, Wolves and Nottingham Forest

But he warned of keeping your distance from others, even when outside on a bike.

His mother is going through the early stages of dementia and is living with him, he said, so it is a case of "keeping her safe as well, which is vitally important".

He added: "The isolation is just purely to slow this virus spreading and that's saving lives, so recognise that you're playing a big part in that."

Thomas, a patron of charity Cure Leukaemia, started the Geoff Thomas Foundation in 2005 to raise funds to fight cancer and has raised millions of pounds.

He was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia the year after he left football, but went into remission following treatment and a stem cell transplant.

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