AS the country moves into the lockdown measures that will affect us all and our lives as we know it, it still doesn't seem real.

It's almost like a bad dream; pubs, restaurants and even gyms closed, children banned from going to school while our NHS and emergency services are being tested like never before.

It is unprecedented and every day brings a daily brief from the Prime Minister.

Now all these clouds do seem to be grey, but as always there is a sliver of a silver lining and at least I am getting on top of jobs I have been putting off, along with spending time with my family in the enforced stay at home.

This past week or so has given me time to pause and really explore what football means and why I have such a passion for the game that has a religious type hold on me.

We have all seen the adverts in the UCL half-time breaks that state “as out there on the pitch, we are all the same” does ring true.

It is a game that brings together people from all walks of life, who perhaps may not even be in the same room in any other setting.

But for me it goes much deeper; football is a sport that has been ever-present in my life, throughout my ups and downs.

I can remember life before the Premier League, the troubles of the late 1980s and football's transformation to the family game it is today.

It was there through my Operational deployments and the dark times that went with it, and I know that it will also be there when the country returns to normal, once this virus passes - but at what cost?

The EFL have made statements about ‘bailout’ and ‘support’ payments, but a number of League chairmen have said that this does not go far enough.

We also do not know when the season will start up again and come June 30, there will be players out of contract which could lead to interesting legal challenges with players from this season being asked to play on beyond that.

One very sad non-virus related bit of news that came out last weekend was the sad passing of Paul Wright, a devoted U's fan.

Not only did he follow the club home and away; he was also an ever present outside the South Stand at home games selling half-time draw tickets.

I know you will all join me in sending all our deepest sympathies and thoughts to Paul's family and friends at this difficult time.

I hope you are all making the best of these strange days, with everyday life turned upside down.

Stay safe and well and remember even the darkest of nights have to have a dawn.

Let's heed the government’s advice and instructions and come out of this as quickly, as painlessly and with as few casualties as possible.