FORMER Southend United manager swapped footballs for cricket balls to help raise funds for SECE Mind.

Tilson lined up for the Run Free side against Southend & EMT at Southchurch Park and scored an impressive half century before retiring.

And Tilson thoroughly enjoyed his afternoon’s work.

“I really enjoyed the game and it was great to help raise money for such a good cause as well,” said Tilson.

“I love to play cricket whenever I can and this was something really fun to be part of.”

Southend batted first and scored 192/3 with Joe Mohan top scoring with 51.

In reply, Run Free fell nine runs short with Tilson top scoring.

Ryan Creasey added 38 while Louis Campbell was the pick of Southend’s bowlers as he took six wickets for 26 runs.

But raising awareness was the most important part of the day. And Run Free’s Chris Phillips was pleased with how the game went.

“We raised £350 for SECE Mind and it will have helped to spread the word about Run Free too,” said Phillips.

“We’re all to do with using sport to help ease mental health issues and we’ve already formed an amazing group of people.

“We meet regularly to play football but many of us hadn’t even played cricket before!

“A lot of hard work went into the game and we have to say a massive thank you to Sarah Franklin, Scott Elliott, Victoria Polley, Mike Paterson at MSPFX , Paul Franklin, Luan Marshall and everyone at Southend & EMT.”