Former Wales defender James Collins has revealed more about Emailgate – the decision of his old club West Ham to end his time there via his in-box.
Collins gave a decade of service to the Hammers – playing 214 games during two stints – but found out about his release after what proved his final game for the club at the end of last season.
In an interview with fellow former Wales international Iwan Roberts for S4C football series, Mwy o Sgorio, the 35 year-old said: “I wouldn’t say I’m angry; more disappointed. We were coming up to the last few weeks of the season and we were still in a situation where we could have gone down.
“It just wasn’t mentioned, my situation. I’d been playing over Christmas, granted I’d had a few injuries and niggles, but thought I still had something to offer. Come to the last game, David Moyes didn’t know what was going on with himself and his position as manager, so it [my situation] didn’t get mentioned.
“I was in limbo and I spoke to Mark Noble, saying this could be my last game. I went around after the game, clapped and got a bit emotional like everyone saw. Then a few days later, I got an email saying that I wasn’t going to be offered anything.
“I didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye and that’s the only thing I think about. Over the 11 years I was there, the club was unbelievable to me. A lot of highs and a lot of lows. A lot of times we were in relegation battles and luckily enough, I never went down with them and always played in the Premier League.
“To go into that last game, knowing that it could well have been my last game without having another chance to say goodbye or thank you to people at the training ground, or Anita, who’s been the secretary the whole time I was there, there’s not a chance to see people like that again, or the fans, who were unbelievable to me for so long, to show my appreciation for what they did for me.”
Having kept himself fit over the summer, he signed a short-term deal with former club Aston Villa earlier in the season. However, after suffering an injury in only his first training session, he opted to voluntarily terminate the contract after suffering an injury in his first training session.
“It just didn’t seem right”, said the 51-times Wales centre-half. “I went back to the club and they’d been so good to me and I had great times there under Martin O’Neill. They looked after my family so well. I went up there with Steve Bruce as manager, but then I trained two sessions with Brucie, and he gets sacked. Fortunately Dean Smith and John Terry were there, and they were great to me. I got offered a short-term deal, and signed it and then the injury happened.
“At my age, signing for a club, injury is a factor and my record proves that I struggle with little niggles, so it just didn’t seem right. I didn’t think twice about it really. I saw Dean Smith on the way off and told them not to send the contract through or rip it up.”
After regaining his fitness Collins signed for Ipswich last month and could face Norwich in the East Anglia derby on Sunday.
Watch the full interview between Collins and Norwich City legend Iwan Roberts on the S4C Clic player, or at 11pm on Thursday night on S4C.