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McBride: Urchins win will be best medicine for Jimmy

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 February 2018

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane and Colin McBride (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane and Colin McBride (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Colin McBride wants to give close friend Jimmy McFarlane ‘the best treatment he can get’ by leading Hornchurch to a win over Tilbury tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm).

Hornchurch's Colin McBride and Jim McFarlane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo) Hornchurch's Colin McBride and Jim McFarlane (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

McFarlane suffered a stroke on Monday morning and remains in Romford’s Queen’s Hospital, where McBride has spent time with his family this week.

But McBride, who turned 60 on Wednesday, will be in the Bridge Avenue dugout as Urchins take on Tilbury this weekend and said: “Jimmy’s son Ricky rang me at 8am on Monday and I went up there and it was quite emotional to say the least.

“Jim, who our physio Dicky Harper once called a ‘freak of nature’, looked awful, but on Tuesday he was better and got up and walked and Wednesday there was more improvement.

“He knew it was my birthday and his youngest son Frankie said the 10-15 minutes of us talking football his eyes perked up and he was more focused.

A tweet from Ricky McFarlane after dad Jimmy, the Hornchurch manager, suffered a stroke A tweet from Ricky McFarlane after dad Jimmy, the Hornchurch manager, suffered a stroke

“The doctor said he has had a huge stroke and they were gobsmacked when they saw the severity of it but it goes back to Jim as the man he is.

“He needs to rest as much as possible but he has got a lot of people behind him.”

McBride met with the Urchins players on Tuesday evening and takes the reins with them sitting 13 points clear of Bowers at the top of the Bostik North table.

And he wants them to focus on their football and maintain the momentum that McFarlane, the longest-serving manager in club history, has built over the course of the campaign.

He added: “I’ve got to get my head on being a manager again. I never thought it would happen, not without Jim by my side.

“But the best treatment he can get is the boys winning games. The players are not used to this in their lives and you could see they were visibly upset. You want them to care and show feeling, but we want them to beat Tilbury.”

McFarlane’s family have been overwhelmed by the support shown in the football community, with Romford boss Paul Martin among those to pay his rival a visit.

Martin said: “He is a good friend of mine in football and one of the nice guys. From me and the whole of Romford FC, we wish him all the best. It’s only five more wins that should earn them promotion and it coudn’t happen for a nicer guy.”

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