Connect with us

Non League

Yeovil boss’ interview on first match since Lee Collins death has supporters in tears

Yeovil Town boss’ emotional interview on his side’s first National League match since Lee Collins death has supporters in tears.

Darren Sarll hailed his players for winning the fixture 1-0 against Boreham Wood at Huish Park thanks to a first-half strike from Jimmy Knowles.

The Glovers had not played since Collins passed away last month with a huge amount of flowers and scarves, laid at the ground as part of tributes and respects paid to the much loved centre-back.

Sarll saw his side put in a performance that Collins would have been proud of.

“Everyone knows how tough it has been,” said Sarll. “They are a brilliant group and they really stuck together.

“They are incredible people. I spoke quite a lot [before the match] but I tried to get my focus on the game. We are at work now and we want to win. Lee and I both came here to win.

“It has brought a lot of teams together, but today’s desire and determination were very fitting. I said Lee was the glue of our dressing room and today he held us together.”

All Yeovil players were given the option of returning to training, while some did, there were a number that understandably didn’t.

“If one feels like they can’t play or can’t prepare, none of us are going down the tunnel,” says Sarll. “We have had an attitude that if one doesn’t go, none of us go. That’s been our ethos.”

On Thursday morning, first-team players, staff and directors went into the stadium, driving past the shrine to Collins. “The anxiety and fear of taking that first step can sometimes consume you,” Sarll says. “I wanted to try and prepare the players to have a clear week, to have four more days of turning up, driving past the memorial, saying hello to Lee … I wanted them to have that preparation phase in their head where they could get themselves ready and in line.”

Before heading on to the pitch, players and staff, together with Collins’ partner, mother and in-laws, paid their respects around the stadium’s centre circle with a two-minute applause. “I was really, really pleased when Lee’s family turned up,” Sarll says. “They wanted to be a part of it. It made it a really personal moment for us. That was a huge, huge step for a lot of us. It was a really tough day but we managed to train afterwards with some sort of semblance of quality …”

The club have brought in a therapist and are working with Sporting Chance, a mental health charity, via the PFA. Some players have took to counselling away from the club, and Sarll has spoken to a psychologist at the League Managers Association. “Nobody would bat an eyelid if some, any or all of the players didn’t want to play for the rest of the season,” says Ben Barrett of the Gloverscast podcast. “Nobody would care in the slightest. But if they want to begin that process of getting back to ‘work’, Yeovil fans will do everything they can to support them.”

Many of Collins’ former teammates have paid respect. “Your passion and energy towards rebuilding this club from the lowest point in the lives of fans my age will never be forgotten,” reads one tribute. “It was an honour to watch you play and call you our captain.”

“I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do too much of a team talk,” says Sarll. “My lip goes … as soon as I see Carl Dickinson [the vice-captain] I start to cry. Lee is very much here with us. His locker is still his locker and his armband will be his armband. We’ll carry him with us. That the players, after two and a half weeks, are ready to go down the tunnel and back on to the pitch is an incredible show of strength.”

As mentioned, some supporters were in tears with others rather emotional after seeing the Yeovil boss’ interview on their first match since Lee Collins’ death…

@LibbyDenman: Huge respect for speaking. Clearly emotional through what is an absolutely awful time. Heartbroken for you all at the club, and Lee’s family & close friends

@stoltz34: This was such a hard watch… massive respect to Darren

@dansearle79: I don’t often watch managers interviews, certainly not those of other clubs, but I watched this one, very honest, incredibly open and I agree a difficult watch, good luck to all associated with @YTFC this weekend

@JoanneR79052129: Well done to all the team at #YTFC. That must have been a very emotive match. A great win for your captain

@Brad_Northcott: Such a powerful tribute. The way everyone associated with the club has handled the last couple of weeks is nothing short of incredible

@MarkyG97141979: Well done Yeovil Town, an absolutey fantastic result for you and Lee.

@Deano046: Fantastic tribute. Torquay fan sending my condolences to his family and to your club.

@IanWhatmore: Top man. Darren you are a legend

We sing a song for our Collo
And we will never let you go
Cause you’ll always be, at Yeovil with me
You were the captain of our team
A leader like we’ve never seen
Remembering the shirt you wore
Lee Collins was Yeovil’s number 4️⃣

@Fayelallinson: So sad 😞 can really see he’s struggling 😢

@CleaveO: So much more. 💚 Well played lads and to everyone at the club for taking this next very difficult step. That win is for you Collo.

@bigdaz_rigley: Sorry for your loss guys mental health matters good luck.

@BlooreJon: Fantastic tribute by @YTFC your Captain and forever a Valiant. RIP Lad.

@MacMenUnite: This man is just a class act. 💚

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

@StevePotts16: Bloody brilliant class Dicko UTV

@MARIEEV04424998: This is so sad 😭 wish he had known how much people loved him #pvfc

@Deanoyouds: Well done mate. That couldn’t of been easy. ❤🙌

@roganjosh101: When its allowed, we have to fill Huish Park and get Collins name ringing around the stadium. Just show the support for all involved

@Abbylouisec1: Such a poignant dedication. Our captain and leader. A legend in football. RIP Collo. Rest easy.

@covlad459: I’m sure u did him proud mate total respect

@zf0745johnnyh: Great words – well said

@_LeeUK: You and the boys have done the club proud today. Saw my family who live in Yeovil today for the first time in about 10 months due to COVID. We had our Christmas Day, and the timing is not lost on me. Might not be my first team but absolutely Up the Glovers, R.I.P Skipper

@Bruno4Naandes: Couldn’t have a better man to wear the armband for Lee. Can’t imagine how you were all feeling today, but you’ve represented the club amazingly.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Non League