Rose and Watson pay tribute to Lee Collins, and dedicate Cobblers victory to him

Danny Rose and Ryan Watson both dedicated the Cobblers' crucial Good Friday win over Shrewsbury Town to their friend and former team-mate, Lee Collins.

By Jeremy Casey
Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 11:24 am
Ryan Watson pays tribute to Lee Collins after scoring the only goal of the game against Shrewsbury (Pictures: Pete Norton)
Ryan Watson pays tribute to Lee Collins after scoring the only goal of the game against Shrewsbury (Pictures: Pete Norton)

The 32-year-old Yeovil Town club captain passed away on Wednesday, and it was a very emotional afternoon as two of the clubs Collins had played for met at the PTS Academy Stadium.

Collins spent more than two years at Sixfields, making 86 appearances for the club, and he also spent a couple of months on loan at Shrewsbury.

There was a touching minute's silence before the game, with Collins' image displayed in black and white on the big screen in the corner between the east and south stands.

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Cobblers assistant boss Marc Richards, a close friend of Lee Collins, wore an armband with the initials LC on it

Both sets of players and coaching staff wore black armbands as a mark of respect, and it was a particularly tough afternoon for several of the Cobblers camp, particularly assistant boss Marc Richards, who was a very close friend of Collins.

Richards played with Collins at the Cobblers as well as at Port Vale and Yeovil, and was visibly upset prior to the game, also donning a black armband with the initials LC on it.

Rose and Watson also played with Collins, with Watson sharing a dressing room with him at Sixfields while on loan at the Cobblers in the 2014/15 season.

Rose was a club-mate of the talented defender at Barnsley and again at Mansfield, where Collins, as he was at Yeovil, was the club captain.

Danny Rose

The news of the player's death sent shockwaves through the sport and beyond, with 100s of players, supporters and friends of Collins taking to social media to pay tribute to a man who clearly garnered respect from all who knew him.

And both Rose and Watson paid their own touching tributes after Friday's victory over the Shrews.

It was Watson who scored the only goal of the game, and in his celebration he held his armband to the sky in honour of Collins, and he admitted the goal and the win were for him.

Asked if the win for Collins, Watson said: "Of course, it was definitely in my mind.

"I know there are a lot of boys in there that are close to Lee, and they would have wanted the win for him, and in his memory.

"Thankfully we got that win.

"What happened was horrible, and a lot of lads here are still very close to him.

"When I was here I was only a young lad, and he was a great lad. He helped me a lot, and I think everybody at the club wants to send our condolences to Lee's family. It is such tragic news and a horrible situation."

Rose revealed that he had only spoken to Collins last weekend, and he was struggling to contain his emotions as he talked about his friend.

"It has been a tough 24 hours," said the 27-year-old.

"I spoke to Lee last weekend actually, which makes it even more sad. He was a great guy, a great leader.

"I met him when I was at Barnsley and he looked after me when I was a young lad there.

"Then he moved on, and I met him again at Mansfield, so I know Lee quite well and it was tough.

"I was emotionally drained on Thursday after hearing the news and it came as such a massive shock, especially after speaking to him last week when everything seemed fine.

"But you just don't know what is going on in people's lives, and you have to respect people because you never know what could happen."

Asked if the win was for Collins, Rose said: "It was, 100 per cent.

"It was a great performance that was for Lee, and I think what Watto did in his celebration, putting the armband up into the sky was perfect.

"That was for Lee, because he was a great guy, a top guy, and I can't speak highly enough of him.

"My condolences go to his family."