Match Sponsor - Dorchester Town
19 January 2024
This weekends match has very kindly been sponsored in the name of 'Andy's Man Club, Merthyr' by an extremely genorous gesture by Magpies Chairman Scott Symes, in memory of Ceri Collins.
Scott explained: “A good friend of mine Tim Beavis, an ex-DTFC director, bought this situation to my attention last year and helping in anyway to raise awareness of this story, and men’s mental health in general, is something all the non-league football family should try and help by raising awareness and funds when we can.”
Tim - who is good friends with Ceri’s parents Mark and Madeleine - added the following:
Mark Collins is Merthyr through and through, he and his wife Madeleine are regular visitors to not just Penydarren Park but as many of the away matches they can attend also.
October 18th 2022, Mark and Madeleine’s lives changed forever. Their son Ceri, the life and soul of the party, a singer, entertainer, and all-round wonderful person, died by suicide. Ceri was a talented musician and songwriter, along with being not a bad footballer in his own right. Mark claims to have been ‘pretty good’ too, having played for Merthyr.
Since that sad day, Mark and Madeleine have been huge advocates of mental health for men and done as much as they can to encourage men to talk and seek help. Luke, Ceri’s brother (and they were each other’s heroes it’s safe to say) has even climbed Pen Y Fan to raise money for Andy’s Man Club which helps men with mental health problems. Luke by the way has profound autism, so that was a monumental effort on his part!
Mark has been very candid, honest, and selfless in his efforts to prevent other parents from suffering the same loss that the Collins family have suffered. He has been a guest on ‘Just One Man’ podcast’, organised numerous events to raise funds for Andy’s Man Club Merthyr, to continue to help men of any age with their mental health. Apparently, Mark is up too early planning his next fundraiser, whilst Madeleine admits to not being a morning person!
Sadly, Mark and Madeleine can’t be at the game today, they are being the best Grandparents to Jesse, Ceri’s young son. But they are here in spirit and without doubt, Mark will be ‘encouraging’ his beloved Merthyr from afar.