FIELDS OF VISION
'tribute to man who nurtured soccer stars of the future'
Scotland Road legend, William "Billy" Collins, will be remembered for future generations by having a specially designed commemorative plaque permanently placed within the new changing room facility at the refurbished football pitches at Flinders Streets.
The official opening of the refurbished William Collins Playing Fields took place on Thursday 26th September. Pictured sharing the congratulations given to the official unveiling of the William 'Billy Collins' Plaque are Tony Baker, Larry Carberry and Councillor Warren Bradley. Councillor Bradley said, "People like Billy Collins are very precious, dedicating their lives to improving the lot of the community. Many famous footballers and whole generations owe a lot to Billy."
Terry Cooke, Chairman Vauxhall History & Heritage Group, said, "The unveiling of this commemorative plaque will pay tribute to a man who nurtured soccer stars of the future and these wonderful new playing fields are a testament to the vision that Billy Collins had".
The refurbished football pitches and changing room facilities have cost £900,000 and has been funded by the Football Foundation with contributions from Liverpool City Council and the North Liverpool Partnership. The five pitches are served by changing rooms for boys and girls, 25 showers, a referees' room, a store room and disabled access.
At the official opening ceremony, Geoff Webb, Grass Roots Stadia Development Director at the Football Foundation said, "These new playing fields represents the future of grass roots football in Liverpool".
"My great pleasure and immense pride"
Dear Scottie Press, It gave me great pleasure (and indeed immense pride) to be an invited guest at the reopening of the William Collins Playing Fields, at which time I was honoured to participate in the unveiling of a beautiful plaque commissioned by the Vauxhall History & Heritage Group to commemorate the life of a true, gentleman.
During the opening ceremony many kind words were spoken about this great man. Guest Speakers referred to his endeavours in forming the Inter Street Football Competition during the 1950's, and also about his work as a Scout Leader. They spoke about his organisational skills, his foresight, his desire to improve the lives and expectations of the young people in the Vauxhall area, the tributes went on and on. Being one of Bill Collins nephews I was overwhelmed by the many kind and sincere comments attributed to my late uncle by the Guest Speakers.
Yes, Bill Collins was indeed a truly honest, humble and unassuming man. Yet he was his own man, who acted only on his own initiative. With his quiet, sincere style he achieved so much for so many people. His works were held in such high regard that he became the proverbial Legend in his own Lifetime. Later on in his life Bill was unfortunate in that he lost his sight, yet in spite of this disability he always remained cheerful and enthusiastic. One of my treasured memories and most pleasant tasks was to accompany him to the initial opening of the William Collins Playing Fields. He was so proud of this prestigious honour, and for my part I was so pleased that his achievements and efforts had been recognised and acknowledged within his own lifetime.
I feel that on behalf of Bills family I should convey our thanks to the following;
Liverpool City Council and the Football Federation for co-ordinating the total renovation of the William Collins Playing Fields.
The Vauxhall History & Heritage Group for commissioning the magnificent plaque in Bills honour.
Fred O'Brien from Northern Design Unit who made the plaque.
Larry Carberry, ex Professional Footballer who officiated at the unveiling ceremony.
Terry Cooke, Local Historian, for his summary of the works and achievements of Billy Collins.
Ron Formby of the Scottie Press, a man whose enthusiasm in relation to Scotland Road's past, present and future is without equal.
Alan Jackson of Radio Merseyside who presided as Master of Ceremonies.
And last but not least the good people of the Scotland Road and Vauxhall area who turned up on the day to honour a great man.
Best wishes, TONY BAKER.
Time To Honour The King Of The
'concrete cup final'
The Daily Post newspaper (28th May) published an article written by David Charters about Billy Collins and the plans of the Vauxhall History & Heritage Group to unveil a plaque to Billy as part of the September 2002 opening day celebrations of the refurbished William Collins Playing Fields, Flinders Street.
William (Billy) Collins was instrumental in setting up the inter-street football league in 1953. Each season ended up with a grand final played at Eldon Grove. From this came the Scotland Road and District Junior Football League, which used pitches in Flinders Street, off Stanley Road. These were renamed in honour of Billy Collins who died six years ago.
We picture some scenes from the 'concrete cup finals' at Eldon Grove - if you have any photographs please let us know.
Further details of the William (Billy) Collins Plaque will feature in the Scottie Press Community Newspaper and on our website if you would like to add your memories of Billy or the inter-street football league and cup finals to our articles please write to
Vauxhall History & Heritage Group
c/o Scottie Press Community Newspaper,
Vauxhall Multiservices Centre,
Silvester Street, Liverpool L5 8SE.
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org