A great-grandfather who recently lost his wife of 66 years says it was "absolutely fantastic" to receive a surprise call from a Watford footballer.

William Knight, known as Ray, like most of his family, is a Watford season-ticket holder and adores the Hornets, first watching them play in 1946.

On March 18, Mr Knight, 85, lost his 87-year-old wife Julia, and times have been a little tough since as he has been unable to see much of his family due to the coronavirus pandemic.

His daughter, Michelle, thought her father needed a pick-me-up and wondered what she could due to help him feel better.

For the latest coronavirus updates for Hertfordshire, visit our live blog

She'd heard that Watford FC had put a call out offering help so she thought maybe someone from the club could give her dad a ring.

So on Friday, she rang the club and explained her father's situation and sent an email in.

Around 40 minutes later, she received another call - this time from her dad - who told her he'd just been speaking to Nathaniel Chalobah.

It turned out that within minutes of Ms Lawrence's call, Watford had arranged for their star midfielder to call Mr Knight.

Watford Observer:

William 'Ray' Knight, pictured with his wife Julia, who died on March 18

Mr Knight, who lives in Croxley Green, said: "At first when he (Chalobah) rang up, I thought it was a joke. I asked him what club he was at before and how much he cost, and when he told me, I knew it was him.

"He was very nice. He asked about my wife and how we met, and then he asked about Watford FC and all of the memories I had with the club. We spoke about how the club are doing now and the training they are doing at home.

"To think a big club like Watford can get a big player like Chalobah to phone somebody like me - I can't really thank the club enough." Chalobah's phone call was more than daughter Michelle ever imagined.

Watford Observer:

Nathaniel Chalobah. Photo: Action Images

She said: "I thought it would be nice for someone to call my dad because he is so loyal to Watford FC. I thought perhaps someone from the office would give him a call - not a player.

"It has made my dad feel so good - they are a good club are Watford."

Around two weeks ago, Watford launched its Hornets at Home community initiative to try and offer support to fans who may need an extra helping hand during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Watford players, both past and present have been calling supporters to make sure they are safe and well during the pandemic.