Magic of Cup still alive for Hawks hero

Jamie Collins scored the winning goal from the penalty spot as Sutton United stunned Leeds United to earn a fifth-round FA Cup tie with Arsenal
Jamie Collins scored the winning goal from the penalty spot as Sutton United stunned Leeds United to earn a fifth-round FA Cup tie with Arsenal
Wes Fogden scored but the Hawks lost to Welling

Defensive errors so costly as Hawks lose to Welling

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Hawks Anfield legend Jamie Collins continues to write new chapters in his glorious love affair with the FA Cup.

At the weekend, the 34-year-old fired home the penalty which saw his present club Sutton United beat Leeds 1-0 and progress into the fifth round.

Former Hawks skipper Jamie Collins in Anfield action in January 2008 - with the non-league underdogs beaten 5-2 by Liverpool after twice leading their Premier League opponents

Former Hawks skipper Jamie Collins in Anfield action in January 2008 - with the non-league underdogs beaten 5-2 by Liverpool after twice leading their Premier League opponents

A home draw against Arsenal means the midfielder will once again find himself up against some of the biggest names in the game.

For Collins, it brings back memories of nine years ago when he led the Hawks out against Liverpool in the fourth round at Anfield.

‘It was possibly the best weekend of my life and I still remember a lot of it as if it was yesterday,’ he said.

‘Walking out in front of The Kop at Anfield was totally surreal.

‘The whole weekend was memorable from start to finish.

‘We had travelled up in the England team coach and trained at the Manchester United indoor facilities.

‘Then going to the ground with Liverpool and Hawks fans packed on either side of the road.

‘When both sets of fans sang You’ll Never Walk Alone before the game it made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

‘We were up against the likes of Javier Mascherano, Peter Crouch, Yossi Benayoun and Steven Gerrard came on later.

‘I remember at kick-off, my team-mate Shaun Wilkinson turned and said: “this is just like playing Championship Manager on the computer”.

‘We scored twice in the first half and went in at half-time level at 2-2.

‘At half-time we were all sat in the changing room trying to get our breath back with manager Shaun Gale telling us that we could go on and win it!

‘In the end we lost 5-2 but we gave a great account of ourselves.’

The Hawks were given a standing ovation by The Kop at the end and it still stands as the greatest day in the club’s history.

There was only one disappointment for Collins, though, whose side knocked out Notts County and Swansea.

‘I had my eyes on getting Steven Gerrard’s shirt but he had already promised it to Alfie Potter,’ he added.

‘Instead I now have a signed shirt from Mascherano framed next to the one I wore that day hanging on my wall.

‘I walk past them everyday and they bring back great memories.

‘Now I might have to make a bit more room for an Arsenal shirt!

‘We are all looking forward to it but it is just a shame that it is not at Emirates Stadium.’