FOUR players at Largs Bridge Club were all struck down with coronavirus after a match - then three of them unwittingly infected their wives with the deadly disease.

Paul McKay, Peter Eager and Tony Rowley were all infected after a local match - and are still suffering debilitating symptoms such as hair loss, severe weightloss and crippling tiredness months later.

Sadly the fourth person, Ken Ling, passed away just a few months short of his 80th birthday.

Tony, treasurer of Largs Bridge Club, was severely affected and left bedridden for two weeks with the virus.

Tony, 74, said: "I became ill and two days later I was confined to my bed. I stayed there for weeks, only getting up to use the toilet.

"During this period I ate almost nothing and lost 30lbs in weight.

"With my wife Christine also badly infected. Thankfully we were supported by my daughter, who lives locally.

"The emergency services were called out twice but after seeing a hospital consultant it was decided I would be better off staying at home than being admitted.

"Our oxygen levels were tested regularly but both Christine and I stayed above 98 per cent, which meant that our lungs were still in good working order.

"I remained in complete isolation for a period of five weeks."

Tony says the virus's origin remains a mystery but all played together at the Brisbane Centre on the Monday night before symptoms surfaced.

He said: "This was back in March when Covid-19 was only just becoming the headline story on the news.

"My wife lost her sense of smell but strangely mine accentuated.

"My symptoms were difficulty in breathing, no energy, mild headache and the change in my ability to smell. My sense of smell became so acute that I had to remove a bathroom air freshener because it was so overpowering."

Tony says that since recovering he has suffered from lack of energy, dry/flaking/itchy skin, a loss of hair and some loss of memory.

Tony has put his time to good use by training up to a tournament director for Bridge Base Online, but says the important part of social interaction has been lost.

He added: "When I started to feel better during isolation I thought about how I could spend the time improving myself.

"After I received an email from the Ayrshire Bridge Union asking if any members of the Largs Bridge Club would be interested in being trained so I put my name forward.

"This appeared to kill two birds with one stone in also getting the Largs bridge community back playing.

"I am struggling to see when Bridge will return tp face to face. It is close proximity with four of you sat around a table no more than one metre apart, passing cards around and moving from table to table.

"It is the worst case scenario for safety. This pandemic could be the death of the game, unless a vaccine is found."

Pictured are Largs Bridge Club President Paul, Peter, secretary of the Viking Bridge Club, and Tony.