Other than disrupting all sporting activity all over the world, the novel Coronavirus pandemic has affected a number of sportspersons, coaches and their families. While some of them had recovered, a few unfortunately succumbed to the virus. Amongst them is the father of Premier League side Aston Villa manager Dean Smith, who has passed away due to COVID-19 yesterday.
Ron Smith, Dean’s father contracted the virus a month ago, and passed away on Wednesday. The tragic news was revealed through an official statement of the club.
“The Aston Villa Family are saddened to announce that Ron Smith, the father of our current head coach Dean, has passed away at the age of 79,” the club statement read.
A hardcore supporter of Villa, Ron previously worked as a steward at Villa Park, the home stadium of the club. Since 2014, he was suffering from dementia and was under home care, until his unfortunate succumb to COVID-19 yesterday after four weeks of quarantine.
“The thoughts of everyone at the football club are currently with Dean and his family at this most distressing of times and we would kindly ask for the family’s privacy to be respected,” Villa’s statement further lamented the loss.
Ron’s reputation was well known within the Villans, being the torchbearer of the club’s affection in his family, the former steward was a regular spectator at Villa Park, and also witnessed Aston’s triumph at the 1982 European Cup final in Rotterdam.
His son Dean, the current gaffer at the club, was a centre back during his time as a player. Following his career spells across a number of lower division sides, including Sheffield Wednesday in the 2003-04 season, Dean started his managerial career in 2011 With Walsall. He also spent three years with Brentford, before securing his position with the Premier League side in 2018.
Aston Villa are currently down in the relegation zone in the league table, with 25 points from 28 matches played.
The English top flight has been suspended for more than two months, since 13th March. However, EPL has received a green light from the UK Government to resume the current season from next month.
Till date, UK has seen more than 267,000 positive cases, and the death toll has risen to 37,460.