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Tony Collins (1926-2021)

8 February 2021

The EFL is deeply saddened by the news of Tony Collins' passing, at the age of 94.

Collins was called up to serve his country in 1944 when he was 18 and was stationed in Italy after training. Post-war, he played professionally for Sheffield Wednesday, York City, Watford, Norwich City, Torquay United and Crystal Palace, before ending his playing career at Rochdale, where he would become manager.

In taking over at Dale in 1960, Collins became the first black manager in English league football, and memorably led his team to the League Cup Final just two years later. He also took on roles as assistant manager and caretaker manager at Bristol City, later working as a scout for a number of Clubs, as well as for the England national team.

In 2017, Collins was presented with the LMA Service to Football Award at the 25th LMA Annual Awards Dinner.

He holds a special place in the game, and will always be remembered.

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