The weather was the only winner on Tuesday night as both Basingstoke FC and Hartley Wintney matches were postponed so instead we pay homage to an incredible young man who embodies the spirit of everything that is great about our town and a truly unsung local hero . Thank you Dan Brownlie for sharing this with us.
Many of you will be familiar with Jack Collins; a much-loved character within our football club and a hugely valuable asset. Since 2014 Jack has been helping the club with wide ranging roles during the working week, but particularly on match-days. His love for the club however, was born long before then.
Since a young age Jack has watched Basingstoke Town Football Club both home and away. Jack, who can commonly be found next to the dug-out, enthusiastically cheering his team on, was even a mascot around the age of seven years old. Now 22, as is the case with most of our fans, Jack fell in love with the football club and his unwavering support led him to ask committee member Sarah Parsons whether there were any voluntary positions available.
Without a moment’s hesitation, Sarah found numerous roles that Jack continues to do today and more.
Jack said: “I help sweep the changing rooms and wash the kit. I also help get the kit and balls ready for away games, which includes hanging the shirts up in the changing room for the players. I also get our physio Kelly’s ice bucket ready. At the end of games, I put the corner flags away and take the water bottles in.”
Roles like this can sometimes be overlooked, particularly by players, but Jack’s roles and efforts are recognised by everyone, especially our players. He’s got a great relationship with the players and the management team and is also very popular with the supporters.
It’s fair to say that Jack loves his role at the club and we are very pleased to have him. That’s the thing about football… it’s more than just football.
Jack goes on to say: “I love football and the support I get from all the staff and players. They understand me and make me feel part of the team. My favourite game so far was our away win against Hartley Wintney and I loved playing in the staff charity match a few years ago. It’s been hard to see the team I love so much be where they are at the moment, but I feel that we now have the players and the right manager to turn the season around.”
Sandra, Jack’s mum said: “Jack has autism and learning difficulties. I’m not quite sure what we’d do without this football club. Everyone is fantastic with Jack and working with you guys has improved his social skills no end.”
Jack is a big help to the management staff “He’s an absolute joy to work with. He’s always on hand whenever we need him and his enthusiasm is infectious. He makes a huge difference, especially on match-days. From everyone here at Basingstoke Town, thank you for all your efforts Jack!” Dan Brownlie