Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Right Decision at the Right Time; Paul Collingwood Has Just Announced His Retirement from Test Cricket after England's Ashes Victory. ANDY HUGHES Reflects on His Career with Older Brother and Best Friend, Peter Collingwood

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Right Decision at the Right Time; Paul Collingwood Has Just Announced His Retirement from Test Cricket after England's Ashes Victory. ANDY HUGHES Reflects on His Career with Older Brother and Best Friend, Peter Collingwood

Article excerpt

HIS humble background fuelled an unrivalled determination to succeed.

Paul Collingwood's will to win has established him as one of the world's fiercest competitors.

And today, as he bows out of Test cricket following England's historic thrashing of Australia, the Chronicle speaks to the person who inspired him to reach the top level of the sport - his older brother Peter.

It all started for the brothers while playing street cricket in the back lanes of their home in Shotley Bridge, County Durham, as kids.

Peter, four years the elder, was tipped for stardom as a teenager after he emerged as one of the leading talents in the region.

But it was younger brother Paul who was destined for greatness.

Peter said: "As kids I was always a little bit better, mainly because I'm four years older, but when he got to 18 he started to overtake me. It became clear that he was going to be a firstclass cricketer.

"But no-one could have predicted how far he would actually go in the game, even his own brother.

"I think his drive to be better than me when he was young is why he's so determined. He's never lost that."

A former pupil of Blackfyne Comprehensive (now Consett Community Sports College) Collingwood's career at Durham started slowly, as injuries kept the teenager out of first team action and he struggled to make an impression. However, after an impressive debut in 1996, he became a regular member of the first team, putting in consistent, if not memorable, performances.

It was in 2001 when Collingwood began to shine, prompting a call up to the England one day squad.

In December 2003, he achieved his dream of playing Test cricket when he was called up to play against Sri Lanka.

Collingwood, 34, initially took a back seat for the famous 2005 Ashes series in England, and played only in the fifth test. He was awarded an MBE for his involvement in the victory. …

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