Crowds turn out to honour Collins
FOUR goals apiece, more than 1,400 people turned up and a wonderful exhibition of football on a gorgeous summer's evening. For Trevor Collins his Testimonial match for Bury Town against an Ipswich Town XI could not have been better, he even had six year-old son Matthew and two-year-old daughter Alice as mascots for the day.
FOUR goals apiece, more than 1,400 people turned up and a wonderful exhibition of football on a gorgeous summer's evening, writes Derek Davis.
For Trevor Collins his Testimonial match for Bury Town against an Ipswich Town XI it could not have been better, he even had six year-old son Matthew and two-year-old daughter Alice as mascots for the day. A goal for himself perhaps might have rounded things off, but as befits his generous, warm nature, and ability in the box, he did provide one.
His deft flick-on was cracked in first time by Gary Clarke to level the scores at 4-4 and the rousing reception Collins received when he went off 10 minutes from time was well deserved for his services at Ram Meadow.
Collins, 32, first joined Bury 19 years ago, playing 11 seasons for the club in total with spells at other clubs including Colchester United youth team. He made his first-team debut for Bury as a substitute for Tony Hall against Brantham United in the Border League before going on to make almost 400 appearances.
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There is plenty of life left in the attacking midfielder yet and he hopes to be going for some time yet.
He said: "I shall keep going as long as I'm enjoying it or until the manager Richard Wilkins tells me enough is enough.
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"I have had a taste of management in the past but it would not be right for me again at the moment as I have two lovely young children and a busy job but you can never say never."
The opening goal was set up by Steve McGavin, playing in a right-wing role. His cross was met by Ian Stringfellow after just seven minutes.
Ipswich were fielding a predominantly Academy side, although John McGreal got a solid hour to help his fitness and a possible return to first- team action after being out since December.
Lively Sam Morrow forced an own goal to level the scores on 10 minutes, but Ipswich were soon behind again when Stringfellow pounced on a gaffe by Gerard Nash to bang in a shot off a post.
Matt Bloomfield hit a cracking second equaliser with a low drive from 22 yards to beat the impressive young Bury keeper Kevin Bugg.
Morrow was rewarded for his efforts after finishing a neat move. The Irishman had earlier been denied twice by Bugg and later hit a post.
Former Town and Colchester United star McGavin, a long-time friend and playing partner of Collins, got Bury back in the game with a wonderful 25-yard free-kick on 33 minutes which dipped over the wall.
Substitute keeper Paul Cudworth got away with handling outside his area just after the break but Nabil Abidallah brilliantly fired the clearance back over the defence from almost 40 yards to give Ipswich the lead.
It was fitting when Collins popped up with his header on for Clarke to level the scores, although he also hit a spectacular volley over the bar. It was a fair result for an entertaining and eventful afternoon played in a superb spirit.
Collins said: "It has been perfect all week leading up to the game and to get a turnout of just under 1,500 was just fantastic.
"It was an enjoyable game to play in and they treated the game right. It was competitive but there were no rash challenges so it was a good competitive game played in the right spirit.
"It has rained all week which helped the pitch and even Ipswich enjoyed the surface and it was a lovely sunny evening so it could not have been better."
Bury boss Richard Wilkins used his entire squad in a rolling substitution basis while Ipswich gave longer run-outs to their squad, many of whom will play at Sudbury tomorrow night.
Bury Town: Bugg, Miller, Crown, Ince, Thompson, Eady, Denniss, Collins, McGavin, Stringfellow and Deeks. Substitutes Cudworth, McAndrew, Clarke, Evans, Newman, Proctor, Snell, Parker and Wilson.
Ipswich Town XI: Price, Mitchell, Hogg, Bloomfield (Robinson, 60) Nash, McGreal (Barron, 63), Abidallah (Synott, 74), Kamara, Morrow, Craig and Atay (Flack, 63) Substitutes not used: Robinson, Peat, Synott, Reid and Manning
Referees: Trevor Pollard/Mike McPherson.