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Inquest reveals how Yeovil captain Lee Collins died

An inquest reveals how Yeovil Town captain Lee Collins died, something which was sadly confirmed by police on the 31st of March.

Tributes poured in from pundits, clubs and fans as the ex-Wolves, Port Vale, Northampton, Mansfield player died, but initially there was no word on how that came to be.

Collins had not played for the Glovers since February though had made eight National League appearances this season.

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A crowdfunding page for the family of Lee Collins has raised over £2,700 in four days.

The JustGiving page was created by Simon Woodland in order to raise money to support Collins’ family after his death on Wednesday (March 31) at the age of 32.

Mr Woodland, from Crewkerne, said: “Being chairman of the Yeovil Multiple Sclerosis Group and vice-chairman of the Yeovil Town FC Disabled Supporters Association, I have a good understanding of how JustGiving pages work, so I thought it would be a good idea to start a page for Lee’s family to show how much he was loved and respected as our captain and friend.”

The original fundraising target was £500, but more than five times this amount has been raised by 143 supporters of the page before reaching £3,988 by 191 online users after 7 days. If you want to donate, you can by clicking HERE.

Since then, Senior Coroner for Somerset Tony Williams confirmed he tragically died as a result of hanging in a hotel room.

He said: “It is confirmed that today, 7 April 2021, with the consent of next of kin, Senior Coroner Tony Williams opened an Inquest into the death of Lee Harvey Collins of Newport, Gwent.

A statement today from Tony Williams, Senior Coroner for Somerset said Lee, from Newport, died as a result of hanging.

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He said: “It is confirmed that today, 7 April 2021, with the consent of next of kin, Senior Coroner Tony Williams opened an Inquest into the death of Lee Harvey Collins of Newport, Gwent.

“Lee was a professional footballer with Yeovil Town Football Club. It was identified that when Lee did not attend for training on 31 March enquiries were made at the hotel where he was staying, and he was found in his room hanging.

“Also admitted into evidence was an Interim Post Mortem Report from Dr Adams, Pathologist at Yeovil District Hospital, confirming cause of death as: Ia) Hanging – subject to blood analysis.

“The Coroner resolved that it will be necessary for further statements and reports to be obtained in respect of the circumstances of Lee’s death and the Inquest was adjourned to an internal Case Management Review on or before 7 July 2021.”

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123.

Or you can get in contract with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men, call 0800 58 58 58 between 5pm to midnight every day.

Darren Sarrl, the Yeovil Town boss, issues a statement on the death of Lee Collins: Nothing in life can prepare you for what has happened in the last week. The sadness that has consumed all of us at Huish Park has been overwhelming – each of us attempting to cope in our own different ways. In the depths of this darkness though I think is it important to acknowledge just how many people have messaged, called and paid their respects to the man we called captain. On behalf of all the players and the management team we cannot thank you enough. The support and love you have offered, once again, demonstrates the power of football and the family it creates.

The ground has been flooded with flowers, scarves, shirts and messages paying respects to Lee. Seeing this visible representation of our shared love for Lee grow day by day, has brought me great comfort. Huish Park is where I spent the majority of my time with Lee, and at the moment this is where I feel his sudden loss most intensely. But this is also where I’ll always feel closest to him. So, sharing this space with so many moving tributes from the fans helps all of us here feel slightly less alone in our grief and for that we are deeply grateful. 

In respect to Lee’s teammates, they are all dealing with his loss in their own individual way, and we will do all we can to support them through this immensely challenging time. One of Lee’s teammates recently described Lee as “our glue” and I take great comfort in thinking of him in that way. What better tribute could there be to our captain than that – through his immense skill as a leader he brought the changing room together and when necessary, kept it in line! Even now as we process his loss, we are united again through Lee with our fans and with his family. Once again, he is “our glue”. 

I would like to take the chance to thank the National League and all the clubs that have held a minute’s silence in Lee’s honour over the last week. It is obvious that Lee had a huge effect on everyone he came across and all the wonderful football clubs he represented. We are very grateful for the love and support.

As you would expect Lee’s wonderful family are rallying round each other and learning how to cope and move forward in their new reality. I would ask that we continue to respect their privacy at this difficult time and allow them the space they need. But I would like them to know that the YTFC family is and will be here for you whenever you need it. We take care of our own here and Lee was and will always be one of our own. 

Lastly, to Lee. I want to thank him for his unwavering trust and loyalty over the last 20 months. To say we were close is an understatement, he was and is ‘MY GUY’. I will remember his strength of character, his undeniable playing ability and his will to win. It will always make me smile when I reminisce about our times together behind the scenes at Huish Park and I know all those that shared a changing room with him will understand this sentiment and feel the same. He was one of a kind and I will miss him greatly.

Lee and I came here to win, to achieve and create the most wonderful lasting memories, and that is what we are going to do, with our #4 always by our side.

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