PFA deeply saddened by passing of Tony Collins

Tony Collins

The PFA is deeply saddened by news that the first black manager in English Football League history Tony Collins has passed away, aged 94.

Collins was recommended to Sheffield Wednesday after playing Army football whilst stationed in Italy during World War Two.

The left winger failed to make any first team appearances for the Owls and moved to York in 1949.

Over the next decade he played for Watford, Norwich, Torquay and Crystal Palace where he became the Palace’s first black player in 1957.

He moved to Rochdale in 1959 becoming their manager the year after and leading them to the League Cup final in 1962.

He had a brief spell as Bristol City’s caretaker manager in 1980.

He went on to work as a scout for managers including Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United and for Don Revie at Leeds United as well as helping him during his time as England Manager.

Gordon Taylor OBE said: “In the mould of pioneers Arthur Wharton, Walter Tull and Albert Johanneson, Tony was an icon for black players, coaches and managers.

“A true football man who lived and loved our game. He will be sadly missed but never forgotten by all who knew him.”

The thoughts and condolences of everyone at the PFA are with Tony’s family and friends.