At a time when professional footballers are getting stick from several quarters, it’s great to see our club and those that represent it doing the right thing at a dreadful time. We interviewed Tom Edwards this time last year, and what shone through was his love for both the football club and the area; having lived in the county and progressed through the Stoke City academy.

Both he and his family still live within the area, and are proud Staffordshire folk – so when the opportunity came to put some smiles on faces, Tom jumped at the chance. I saw that he had done something really lovely for the city’s main hospital and managed to contact him today to find out about it and also about what he’s been doing during this terrible time. I’ve typed it up straight away – here it is…..

Alright Tom, what are you doing to stay fit and healthy whilst away from the football club?  
Well, I’ve converted my garage into a gym with weights and other gym equipment in there, and so I use that to help with completing the sessions that Stoke have sent us to keep in shape. I follow the Stoke programme religiously, pushing myself to be in the best shape possible for when the time comes when we are back at Clayton Wood and playing again.

How often are you in contact with the players, and which ones are you closest to?
To be honest, me and the players talk regularly in the group chat and we all keep in contact to see how we’re all getting on. I speak with Josh, Tyrese and Thibaud on FaceTime quite a lot.  

What do you think of all the criticism that footballers are getting at the moment?
I think it’s okay for people to have their opinions, however we do the best we can to give back to communities and charities whenever we can. We are very lucky to play for a club with such great structure and owners to guide us all through this period.

With the free time that you have had what have you been doing?
Yeah, having a lot of free time has allowed me to try and get my teeth into new things. My new gym has allowed me to get into a new routine along with getting into Tiger King on Netflix – and by the way Carol definitely killed her husband on that, ha ha! Like everyone, it’s hard to stay at home especially with the weather so good, and especially when your job is about being fit, healthy and being outdoors – but staying at home is crucial in helping our wonderful NHS workers to help others and save lives.

Tell our readers about the superb gesture you have undertaken yesterday and today and why you did it?
Firstly, we’ve had some great backing from local Stoke business Whiston Executive Travel who have loaned us their executive Mercedes to fit a load of supplies in. Chris from the company also paid for the insurance on the vehicle to cover us…
Basically, me and a good mate of mine Josh Bill borrowed an executive carrier from them and filled it with well over 600 items, including:
375 Easter eggs
36 isotonic energy gel packs
54 Vaseline/lip balms
30 packs of Nivea face/hand cream
68 Garnier face masks/moisture masks,
69 protein and energy bars  
We purchased everything yesterday and dropped them off at the Royal Stoke Hospital today. We just wanted to put some smiles on faces and to do something for a fantastic cause. I’ve had so much support in my career from local Staffordshire people, so I’m fortunate to be in the position I’m in to give back where it’s possible. We are in an incredibly fortunate and privileged situation as footballers, especially playing for owners like we have at Stoke, so I wanted to do my bit to give back and to spread a little bit of happiness through this horrible period.

Well in, Tom! Do you have a message for Stoke fans and everyone in this area?
Yes – Keep safe guys, stay strong, and we’ll see you all very soon.