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21st Aug 2021

Steve Bruce admits lots of Newcastle United players have not been vaccinated

Simon Lloyd

Despite Karl Darlow being hospitalised earlier in the summer, Newcastle players appear reluctant to be vaccinated

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has revealed “a lot” of his squad have yet to be vaccinated against Covid.

Speaking ahead of his side’s first away game of the Premier League season, Bruce appeared to suggest “conspiracy theories” were to blame for so many professional footballers being reluctant to get the jab.

Karl Darlow, one of Newcastle’s goalkeepers, spent time in hospital with the virus earlier this summer and has yet to return to Bruce’s first team squad since being discharged. He is not the only player at the club to have struggled with Covid.

While Bruce openly says that he would advise all of his players to get the vaccine, he admitted that the decision was ultimately up to them.

“We’ve got a lot of players who haven’t had the jab,” he said. “It’s their prerogative. We’ve had two or three players really sick with Covid here and Karl Darlow spent the best part of a week in hospital with it, so we’ve seen the severity of it first hand. But there are a lot of conspiracy theories out there.

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“I would urge everybody to get jabbed, and that’s the advice of this country’s top medics, but not everyone’s going to have the same opinion. If you get a group of 20 people you are not all going to have the same opinion.”

Bruce is not the only manager to have encountered this issue. Earlier this week, Neil Warnock admitted that the majority of his Middlesbrough players have rejected the chance to have the vaccine.

Bruce added: “We had a meeting of the all the Premier League managers a week or so ago and half the meeting surrounded Covid and how vital it is that people are jabbed.

“A quarter of the people in hospital at the moment are aged under 30 – and that’s simply because they are not having the jab.”

Darlow continues his recovery but is said to have told Bruce that he wishes to speak out about his experience with the illness when he is able to do so.

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