A group of lads from Preston turned a negative situation into a positive one when their friend tested positive for Covid-19, meaning he couldn't be with them to watch the England v Italy Euro 2020 final.

Chris Pope tested positive with a lateral flow test on Friday 9 July, and another positive PCR test confirmed he had the virus, ruining his plans to watch the big game on Sunday 11 July with his mates.

Chris said: "As soon as I found out I wouldn’t be able to watch the game I was gutted,” reports LancsLive.

The entire tournament saw Chris making most of the plans to watch the games, and he and his mates would have watched the final at his house.

“You want to be around your mates after the year we’ve had, it’s been the one good thing, watching the football," he said.

“Everyone’s got a reason to meet each other now and do things a little different than normal.”

His friends were just as gutted that he'd be alone to watch the match – so decided not to let that happen.

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They hatched a plan to create lifesize dolls of themselves by using pillows, newspaper and tights, complete with a cut-out picture of their face and their actual clothes.

Whilst making the puppets on Saturday, the group decided to leave them at Chris’ door and ring him to tell him that ‘they’ were waiting outside for him.

Chris’s friend Rory Cocker said: “We wanted it to be a bit of a surprise.

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“We had to sneak up the side of the house and we just left them there.

“Jack rang him and said, mate can we come in but Chris was like, 'no what are you on about I’ve got Covid.'

“We told him it’s fine. He opened the door and he’s got his three mates sitting there.”

Chris and Rory have been pals since they were 16 and have spent years watching football matches together, sharing a love for Preston North End.

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Together, the group had watched all the Euros games thanks to Chris’ determination to get them all out.

“We’ve watched hundreds of games together so it was gutting we weren't going to watch it together,” Rory said.

When he opened his door to see the three figures slumped against his fence, Chris said he just burst out laughing in shock.

He said: “I couldn't believe the effort they'd gone to to be honest.

“It was so funny because they were actually really good. I was just laughing my head off.

“I loved it because they clearly thought about me and I’m buzzing that they went to that much effort.”

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