Watford captain Troy Deeney has opened up on his tough experiences with Covid-19 that "riddled" his body and left him struggling to breathe. 

In March last year, the 32-year-old contracted coronavirus and was taken to hospital by his partner Alisha, where he would spend five days being looked after as the illness seriously affected him.

In an interview for the Evening Standard the striker revealed just how bad things had got for him as well as how difficult his recovery was.

“It riddled my body,” he said. “I had kidney problems, lower intestine problems. I was peeing blood as well.

“I am the ‘crack-on-with-everything’ guy. I’ve played games with broken ribs, toes, whatever. I tried to keep training when I came home. I tried to jump on the bike. I did 15 minutes and I was outside throwing up. The missus was asking what’s up and I said, ‘I can’t breathe’. It just wiped me out."

The ordeal contributed to Deeney's strong stance against Project Restart, where he initially trained at home away from the club's training facilities, as players were prepared for a return to football.

The striker also did not want to put his son, who has had breathing difficulties, at greater risk.

Even after he returned to playing, the issues resulting from the virus continued to affect him.

“I thought I had got over it and then during Project Restart someone stood on my toe," he said. "That happens daily, but my toe was huge. The doctor was saying, ‘You’ve just got nothing, no immune system’.

“It made me go, ‘Oh, I’m not invincible, I need to relax and look after myself — but also appreciate what I’ve got’. I’d love to give my mum a hug and my kids certainly saw the best side of daddy in a long time, because normally I am always on the go.”