Tuesday 5 May 2020


EX Rangers striker John Macdonald has been working twelve hour shifts as an NHS driver and porter to help those on the frontline. 
John who played between 1978 and 1986 before moving to Barnsley, made 230 appearances for Rangers, scoring 77 goals, and won the 1981 Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup in 1982 and 1984. 
He spoke exclusively to theshowbizlion.com about his work ensuring that doctors get to see patients in need and revealed that it was more frightening working on the frontline than it ever was playing at a big Rangers game. 
John who has been working from 12 midday until 12 midnight on Tuesdays from the Queen Elizabeth hospital to cover closed doctor surgeries as well as portering during other days said: “I’ve been driving  essential doctors to people’s houses.  I’m just an out of hours driver for Greater Glasgow and Clyde for NHS 24. They tell us who to go and see and I drive the doctors around to people’s houses after they have called NHS 24.”
“It is scary and more frightening than playing in any Rangers game, You don’t know what could happen. With Rangers you always knew that if you got beaten, you’d come out the next week and win again. If this hits you badly you don’t know what the outcome is going to be. That’s the bad thing about it.”
John has been acting as a porter and driver for NHS 24 for the last twenty years but he says his hours have increased as a result of the virus.  
He said: “We have a fleet of cars for the NHS and buses taking patients who are at risk as well. We are covering twenty four seven and they have sites during the day for people to be checked too.  It’s the first job I could get. I was working for a medical company and then doctors took it on and now it’s run by NHS 24.”
He’s also been given some protective gear. 
He said: “It’s changed dramatically. The gear I’ve got on is stricter now. You’ve got to get kitted out for your safety and patients as well. They don’t know if they have it so we can’t take chances. We have a bit of everything - a mask, gown, gloves like the doctors who have glasses too if it’s a serious case. People might not mention the virus in their call and doctors then have to decide themselves.  It’s frightening. The doctors go into houses and are coming into the car to sit beside you as well. He’s hoping I’ve not got it and I’m hoping he’s not. I’ve been saying a wee prayer. I usually go to church on a Sunday but we had a wee service on the  internet instead.”
John who has three grown up children hasn’t been able to see his grandkids during the outbreak. 
He said: “We’ve has to stay away in case. My youngest  daughter  sits on the desk at the Queen Elizabeth booking patients who come in so we are very involved with this. I’ve just been going day by day. My niece had symptoms of it so they are all isolation. I’ve not had symptoms but I might have it and my body might be immune or it might not be as bad. If you have it bad you will soon know about it.”
John who still plays in some legends games said working as a porter and driver sometimes reminds him of his old dressing room days. He explained: “Its all about the banter. I make the banter. Everywhere I go to I think I’m still in a dressing room and give people a bit of stick. I play in some of old crocs games now and we were meant to be playing in June at Shotts but I don’t think that is happening now. Its great to play games with people who were my heroes when even I finished playing. I can’t wait to play again.”

Excerpts of this article have since appeared in the Scottish Daily Record