Ken Collier and family would like to extend their sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks for all the kind thoughts, words, cards and gestures of condolence which have been received following Andrew’s loss.
The number of people lining the route and paying their respects for Andrew’s funeral service on Monday 11th May 2020 was moving and a memorable source of comfort.
Special thanks to Carol, Andrew’s wife, for making all the arrangements under such difficult and unprecedented circumstances.
Thanks also to Leigh Golf Club and Leigh Centurions for their tributes and to Haydock Funeral services and Howe Bridge Crematorium.
In Memory Of Andrew Collier:
Everyone at Leigh Centurions has been saddened to learn of the death of former player Andrew Collier at the age of 53.
Mr Collier earned #HN1026 after joining the Club during the summer of 1991 from Wigan and made 14 appearances in a memorable promotion season to the first division under Kevin Ashcroft.
In the first season of an eight-team second division when Leigh played Carlisle, London Crusaders, Oldham, Rochdale Hornets, Ryedale York, Sheffield Eagles and Workington Town each four times, Leigh won 21 out of 28 league games as Ashcroft skilfully built a strong side on limited financial resources.
A hard-working and industrious player, popular with his fellow team-mates, Andrew Collier made his Leigh debut in a 26-10 win against Ryedale York at Hilton Park which opened the campaign when David Ruane (2), Paul Topping (2) and his namesake, Leigh-born Andy Collier scored tries in front of a jubilant crowd of 3,091.
There had been serious doubts over the future of Hilton Park and whether the club would start the season due to financial problems, finally ended when Tony Cottrell headed a rescue bid, successfully negotiating a deal with the administrator that was handling the club’s affairs, and becoming player-chairman.
That win over Ryedale-York was the catalyst for the most enjoyable of seasons for many long-standing Leigh supporters and Andrew Collier played a big part in the success.
Ashcroft recruited talented local players from the town’s amateur ranks, including John Costello, Gary Pendlebury, Tommy Hayes and Mark Dainty alongside more seasoned professionals and created a wonderful team spirit that sustained the team through an arduous and testing campaign.
Club captain Paul Topping scored 16 tries, David Hill 15 and Jason Donohue, who won GB Under 21s honours during the season was also in double figures with 11 tries. John Woods kicked 74 goals and scored eight tries.
Simon Booth, Russ Bridge, Ian Jeffrey, brothers Andy and David Ruane and Mark Sheals were other mainstays as Tongan born Lee Hansen made his bow in English rugby league.
Having two players named Andrew Collier in the squad created some confusion and so the pair were distinguished by being named Andrew Collier Wigan and Andy Collier Leigh.
Paying tribute to his old team mate on social media the latter wrote: “My thoughts go to my friend and namesake’s family at this sad time. Andy Collier was hard as nails on the pitch and a gentleman and entertainer off it. It was pleasure to know him. RIP pal.”
In a two-year stint with the Club, Andrew Collier made a total of 20 appearances, scoring two tries playing either at loose forward or second row. In 2019, Mr Collier married his long-term partner of six-and-a-half years Carol and together they ran the First & Last Pub in Leigh on The Avenue. He will be much missed by his family, friends and former team-mates. Sincere condolences from everyone at Leigh Centurions.
(Photo) Andrew Collier in the Leigh squad, Nov 1991 at club sponsors Lifting Gear Hire (Rugby Leaguer)