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In Memoriam - Brian John Collins

In Memoriam - Brian John Collins

Paul Merison6 Jun - 17:30
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Sad news, with the death of Brian John Collins on the 20th April 2024 aged 91.

Brian really was one of the last of the old guard and a Life Member of the club.

Bill Butler recalls: ‘My first game for South Saxons (late 60's?) was for the 3rd XI (lowest side in those days) away against Southwick on the rec. Brian was the skipper of the side and, whilst grateful for an 11th player, was doubtless less than impressed with the skills I bought to the side - having really only picked up a stick for the first time a few weeks previously. At the final whistle, rather than say "Thanks, but don't bother.", Brian kindly delayed his cup of tea, and gave me an impromptu coaching session in the basics on the muddy grass pitch and said "See you next week." Thinking back now, in that one act, he epitomised one of the best things about South Saxons HC - a welcoming group who just wanted to play hockey. That openness and accessible nature continues to this day and long may it last!

I played for Brian for the short remainder of that season and then dropped to the 4th XI when Geoff Tree started that the season after... he was probably relieved to see the back of me.

Brian, along with Richard Mockett and Geoff Tree, was one of the last Saxons to always use an old English stick - where Mayo used to source them from I've no idea - probably Grays - but Brian used it to great effect. He continued to captain lower XI sides and, like Mockett, was one of the unsung mainstays of the club. He was a quiet man in a age of extroverts; Bollom, Meredith, Seekings, Thomas, Coggon et al, but always had time for a chat over a half of bitter.

He was the guvnor at Coombs Motors in Western Road, St. Leonards, who were the Vauxhall dealership in those days and used to borrow a minibus every now and then, usually for the last away match of the season - good fun’

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