Update as Stoke City legend battles coronavirus with love from family, friends and fans


Stoke City legend Jackie Marsh is ‘battling on’ at home with support from family, former teammates and thousands of fans.

The 71-year-old, who has been fighting cancer, tested positive for Covid-19 a fortnight ago after heading to hospital with suspected pneumonia.

He was well enough to be sent home and he is continuing his recovery with a lot of love from those who know him best.

The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive have also been inundated with messages of support, which will be passed on to the ex-right-back.

Former teammate Terry Conroy said: “Jackie’s battling on. He’s still at home and it’s a real shame that we can’t go to him but he keeps in touch with messages.

“He’s got lots of the old lads out there keeping in touch on a regular basis. Up until this virus hit he was having regular visitors.

“Some speak to him on the phone and the support he’s been receiving is great to read.”

Tony Waddington and Stanley Matthews give advice to four youth recruits in 1963 (l-r): Bill Bentley, Jackie Marsh, Mike Starkey and Mick Bernard.

Marsh grew up as a Stoke fan in Fenton and broke into Tony Waddington’s team in the late 1960s ready to help make the side one of the best in the country in the 1970s.

He was part of a fearless and famous homegrown back four alongside Chesterton’s Mike Pejic and Meir duo Alan Bloor and Denis Smith. They have all stayed in touch long after hanging up their boots.

Pejic has been trying to keep Marsh entertained with funny videos during his self-isolation and has managed to raise a smile.

He said: “It was something special to play in that homegrown back four. We had John Farmer as well, the goalkeeper and another England youth. Bill Bentley was an England youth. We had loads of local lads coming through and given a chance; good kids, good players.

“Jack was one of the few full-backs at that time who loved to get forward using his pace and energy. When we were running down at Trentham Hills he was always one of the leaders.

“There was George Cohen and Jimmy Armfield… but there weren’t many. Jack was quick, though, and he could put himself about as well – as Terry Cooper found out. Terry went high and Jack went higher! Perhaps his contact lens had fallen out that day and he was blind with them.

“He was such a consistent performer, an excellent crosser of the ball on the run and he had the adaptability that made him so useful. A great player.

“Off the pitch, he’s the most down to the earth bloke you’ll find, a real Stokie. There’s no edge on him whatsoever and we are looking forward to the day we can see him again.”





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