Former Yeovil Town forward and long time friend of Lee Collins, Marc Richards, has spoken to BBC Northampton about his friendship with Lee and his disbelief at receiving the news of Lee’s passing.

Speaking To Annabel Amos, Richards said; “I got a phone call from the Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll, it’s a little bit of a haze, I can’t remember what he said, but I certainly remember how I felt. I was taken back, I didn’t want to believe it, it was really tough, it felt like I was in a bit of a daydream.”

Richards, and Collins played together at Huish Park during the 2019/20 season, but their relationship goes back further, something which Richards said makes the situation harder to come to terms with.

“I knew he had been struggling on and off. I know quite a lot of his history, I know what he’s been through, he’d been in positions before where, not so much that he was close to doing that sort of thing, but he had spoken to me about it previously. I was gutted he hadn’t reached out and felt like he could speak to me about what was going through his mind at the time.”

The Northampton Town coach spoke of how’d he’d been in contact with Lee just a few days before his tragic passing.

“I only spoke to him on the Saturday prior, everything seemed OK, I just wish I had probed more, because in that moment, you don’t because it seems fine.”

Collins passed away on 31 March and Richards admitted that he’s still coming to terms with the news.

“It really took me back, I don’t think I’ve really had time to process it to be honest. I’ve certainly not done the grieving I need to do. I know the lives that Lee touched throughout his career and throughout his life. Everyone that has ever met Lee, come across Lee as a player, as a person can say the same thing about him. No matter what football club he played for, he touched so many people’s hearts as well.”

Yeovil Town are leading the way with a Crowdfunder to support Lee’s family and the mental health charity Young Minds.

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