CHESTER FC's first match of the season has been postponed following a Covid outbreak among the first-team squad.

Several players had tested positive for coronavirus, and the club had informed their scheduled National League North opponents Curzon Ashton, as well as the National League, of the news.

It has now been confirmed Saturday's game, which would have been the club's first competitive match since the National League North came to an abrupt halt in February, has been called off, and will now be played at a future date.

A club statement said: "Chester Football Club regret to confirm the postponement of this weekend's Vanarama National League North fixture with Curzon Ashton due to COVID-19 protocols.

"We have unfortunately received several positive test results within the squad and a number of other players are required to isolate as close contacts.

"First-team training has been suspended until August 19 and the match with Curzon Ashton scheduled for Saturday, August 14, will now be rescheduled.

"Supporters who have purchased tickets for this fixture are advised these will be valid for the rearranged date, which will be announced shortly. If you are unable to attend, refunds can be processed.

"The club has been in regular communication with the National League and Curzon Ashton together with our recent opposition, and we thank all parties for their understanding and co-operation.

"It is incredibly frustrating for the opening fixture of the 2021/22 season to be postponed and we understand this will be a great disappointment for our fans, sponsors and supporters of Curzon Ashton, who were looking forward to attending the match.

"The welfare of our players and staff remains paramount and we will continue to follow the relevant protocols and guidance with further updates to follow in due course.

"In the meantime, we would like to wish those players affected a speedy recovery."

The news follows the revelation that Chester FC co-manager Anthony Johnson thought he was going to die of Covid, having required a lengthy hospital stay.

He was diagnosed with Covid pneumonia and had to wear an oxygen mask. He has since been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home, and is urging people to get vaccinated.