Atherton Collieries welcomed a new face to their coaching staff for their historic match against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Thomas Monk, 17, joined first team coaches Michael Clegg, Warren Jones and Andy Heald on the touchline for Collieries on Saturday.Atherton Collieries

Thomas started watching Colls two years ago with his Dad, Ian. They have moved to the area and were present at the end of season presentation in the clubhouse in May. Now living close to the ground they are both looking forward to the upcoming campaign and hope to get down to as many matches as possible.

A sixth form student, Thomas regularly takes days out of his studies to help deliver PE sessions to Primary School children in the local area. Remarkably, he does this while coping with the everyday struggles that autism brings to his life.

Diagnosed at the age of two, Thomas has worked hard throughout his life to overcome a range of difficulties that would hold other people in the same position back. As a club, we feel this resolve and commitment deserves some recognition.

Thomas’s father Ian said: “Myself, Thomas and his Grandad absolutely love the community here at Atherton Collieries. Everybody is always made to feel welcome. I can’t thank Andy Heald and the club enough for giving Thomas this opportunity.”

“The volunteers at this club make it what it is. Ricky Brown invited us down a couple of years ago and we have loved every minute of following Colls since!”


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