PORTSMOUTH defender Sean Raggett last night spoke about his fear of spreading the coronavirus.
Raggett was having a meal on Friday evening with two friends at The Star, a Hungry Horse restaurant in Gillingham, when he was told he was positive.
The 26-year-old was unaware of Boris Johnson’s announcement hours earlier that all pubs and restaurants were shutting to curb Covid-19 as he travelled from the south coast to his parents’ house for Mother’s Day.
And, after receiving a call from Pompey physio Bobby Bacic to tell him of the positive test, Raggett immediately called time on his meal in the pub.
Now Raggett is appealing to anyone who was in pub to self-isolate because of the risk someone might have been infected or carry the virus on to others.
His pals have already shut themselves away and Raggett, on loan from Norwich, said: “I was mortified. We all got tested on Tuesday at the training ground and I couldn’t believe I had come up positive because I haven’t had any symptoms whatsoever.
“My first concern was not to infect anyone I was with or any of the public in the vicinity because there were at least 25 people in there at the time. So I left straight away.
“I am seriously mortified by the thought of passing this on to anyone. I was sitting with just two friends and I didn’t really get into close contact with anyone else.
“But as a precaution if anyone was in there that evening, they should self-isolate.
“If I had any idea I had the infection then of course I would never have gone in there in the first place.
“I didn’t watch or hear the Prime Minister’s briefing so I had no idea pubs had been told to close.
“I was getting ready for the weekend and then driving up. I only went there to eat with two friends. I was there for about an hour.”
Raggett was due to spend the weekend in Gillingham with parents John and Jane for Mother’s Day.
But, following the shock news of his test, he visited their house to let them know he would not be staying — because he could not reach them by phone.
He added: “I knocked on the front door then stood a few metres back and spoke to my dad and sister.
“I told them the news and obviously let them know I couldn’t stay with them because I had caught the infection.
“My other big concern was that my girlfriend was with her family so I needed to let her know because obviously she’s been with me while I’ve had the disease.
“I didn’t want to risk her potentially passing on the infection, either.”
Luckily, Raggett’s girlfriend had not arrived at her parents’ house in Colchester and had turned around to join the centre-back.
So after leaving his family home in Gillingham, Raggett and his partner drove back to his apartment in Portsmouth where they are now self- isolating, as recommended by the NHS.
He said: “It’s really scary stuff because I’m completely fine. We both are.
“I haven’t had a high temperature, I’ve not been coughing or sneezing, nothing. I’ve no flu-like symptoms at all. It’s really weird. But it illustrates how dangerous this disease is if people have it but don’t know because obviously that increases the chances of more people being infected.”
Pubs and restaurants have been closed since Friday until further notice by the Government — a move that the defender agrees with, given what has happened to him.
He said: “We don’t know too much about this disease but clearly there must be lots of people out there like me who have no idea they’ve got it who could be passing it on.”
Portsmouth decided to test players as a precaution after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta contracted the virus.
Pompey played Arsenal in the FA Cup at Fratton Park on March 2, ten days before it was revealed Arteta had Covid-19.
And the results showed Raggett’s team-mates James Bolton, Andy Cannon and Haji Mnoga had also been infected.
Raggett said: “My advice to everyone is just be wary of who you are around and stay safe. Don’t go and visit people who are elderly or vulnerable, regardless if you have symptoms or not.
“Quite clearly, as shown with me, you can still be carrying it and if you pass it on to someone else it can be very dangerous.”
Raggett and his Pompey team-mates have not played since a 2-2 draw at home to Fleetwood 12 days ago.
And the defender was the last Portsmouth player to score.
He said: “It’s pretty boring without football. I’ve been doing basic gym work at home to try to keep myself fit.
“I’ve been playing Call of Duty and Super Mario Kart, and all the lads are in a WhatsApp group so we’re keeping in touch, too.
“Football pales into insignificance at the moment. It’s important to stay healthy and once this is all done we can all get ourselves back to normal.”