BFSFA Hall of fame – Peter Collins.

It's time for another entrant into the Blackpool & Fylde Sunday Football Alliance 'Hall of Fame'.  Peter Collins who's not far of being seventy-five shows no sign of retiring despite putting in forty-two years service on behalf of Fylde Coast Sunday Football.

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BFSFA league secretary Peter Collins.

Born on August 23rd 1934 Peter Collins has never been far away from football.  In the 1950/51 season he managed St John Vianney FC Under 17's and apart from a two-year stint in the armed services he's never been too far away from it since.  By his own admission he was never much of a footballer and his own playing career was cut short through injury at the age of twenty-eight.

Second from left as manager of Sands Casino FC

In the 1965/66 season his team Howcroft Hotspurs FC played a number of friendlies and in the following season they joined the inaugural Sunday Football league on the Fylde Coast.  Two season's later they changed their name to Sands Casino FC and became one of the most successful sides of their day winning the league title and two Gledhill Cup finals in the late sixties and early seventies.  After working at the Hawker Aircraft factory at squires Gate with 4,000 fellow employees he later carried on manufacturing aircraft components at Stargate Engineering Limited and Sycamore Development Limited.

On the Edge with fixtures' secretary Carole Cox.

In the 1967/68 season he joined the BFSFA committee and he's been on it ever since.  Peter started as press secretary before moving on to being the registrations' secretary before becoming the league secretary many years ago.  By my reckoning he's had to sit through at least 840 league management and league secretaries' meetings so if nothing else he deserves an award for that alone.  In addition he joined Blackpool FC's commercial side before later becoming the club's long serving secretary.

With BFSFA treasure Dennis Wilde.

A few years back he received the LFA's 50-year service award and there are not too many that are given that honour.  Even fewer people have football grounds named after them but not so long ago the old Prebond pitch was renamed Collins Park in recognition of his service to Sunday Football.  It's now the spiritual home of Fylde Coast Sunday football and with the valued input from Fleetwood Town FC it's rapidly becoming one of the best Sunday Football venues on the Coast.

Despite nearing the ripe old age of 75 he still looks fit and in better shape than many Sunday footballers a third of his age.  He has absolutely no desire to put his feet up and besides his busy role in local football he's also the President of Marton Institute as well as being the club's concert secretary.  Peter thinks the best thing about Sunday Football is the 'football' and rain or shine, hot sun or freezing cold there's rarely a Sunday when he's not out and about watching.  On the downside he regrets the rise in indiscipline and poor attitudes and behaviours of players and supporters towards referees and sees this as a real problem of concern that may end up having a serious effect on the future of local football.

When not at home he likes nothing better than sunning himself in Southern Cyprus which he's grown to love in recent years.  Proving the old adage that it's never too late to learn he's also taken up Crown Green bowling – tough sport.  After all of his time in local football Mrs Collins is well used to the phone ringing and his regular absences on football related matters but everything's relative.  At one stage he ran four teams at the same time and she ended up washing the kit for all four.  Behind every great man is a kit washing football widow.

Content in the sunshine with a cup of tea at 'Collins Park' watching the football.

Thanks Peter from all of the many thousands of Sunday footballers (me included) to whom you've helped provide the opportunity to get out there and kick a football round every Sunday.  It's appreciated.  A worthy candidate for Hall of Fame I'm sure you'll agree – Peter Collins.

Sportspy 2008/09

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