Shrewsbury Town boss Steve Cotterill hoping his search for well-wisher will bear fruit

Steve Cotterill is keen to discover the identity of a mysterious gift bearer so he can deliver a personalised ‘thank you’, writes Lewis Cox.

Steve Cotterill (AMA)
Steve Cotterill (AMA)

The Shrews boss, who turned 57 on Tuesday, is continuing on his road to recovery after a severe battle with ill health as a result of Covid-19.

He spent two stints in Bristol Royal Infirmary Hospital, totalling almost 50 days, and in total spent six months away from the club as he fought to recover in time for the beginning of pre-season on July 1.

During his time in the hospital, and recovering at home in Bristol, Cotterill received floods and floods of letters, cards, gifts, photos and other presents delivered to his ward A800, sent from Montgomery Waters Meadow by kitman Rory McVicar.

Cotterill revealed he took the considerable time to read every message and enjoy each gift sent, which ranged from stacks of chocolates, to flowers, pictures and bottles of champagne, even though the boss admits he is not a big drinker.

His mobile phone was also constantly lit up with thousands of messages from well-wishers, and he has endeavoured to respond to all of them personally.

But the Town chief had one request during his recent press briefing. He was keen to discover the identity of one gift bearer, so he could say thanks.

“It did take some doing,” Cotterill admitted on getting through and responding to all his well wishes.

“To be fair, Rory the kitman would send me down a box of pictures, cards, framed photos that had been made up, one of the lads with their ‘Get well Gaffer’ T-shirts.

“I’ve got a couple of things up in my office, there’s another one there about being the most successful Shrewsbury manager in the first however many games.

“There were lots of things sent to me, it was incredible really – presents, fruit, flowers, champagne, wine.

“There was one – it was huge, the biggest box of fruit you’ve ever seen in your life – if anybody reads this and you sent it to me then please get in contact with me, because there was no card in there so I don’t know who I’m thanking.

“I wanted to text to say thank you for what you’ve done and the kindness shown. Honestly, there was floods of it.

“I can’t do enough back for people at the moment, that’s quite how I feel. To give to our fans or those people out there still struggling a little bit with Covid. I’ve got to balance my energy between both.”

The former Cheltenham and Bristol City chief admitted he was overwhelmed with how the football community rallied around him in his time of need.

Cotterill has revealed how – for reasons he can not fully understand yet and to be able to spread the word about the severity of the virus and importance of vaccine – his near-death Covid experience could become one of the most important and best experiences of his life.

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