City pioneer Tony Collins dies

Former Rochdale boss and Norwich City player Tony Collins has died, aged 94

Former Rochdale boss and Norwich City player Tony Collins has died, aged 94 - Credit: Archant

The Football League has announced the death of former Norwich City player Tony Collins, the first black manager in English football, who had a two year spell with the Canaries in the 1950s.

The 94-year-old took charge of Rochdale for a seven year period from 1960, which included a League Cup final meeting with the Canaries in 1962, losing 4-0 on aggregate.

Collins scored twice in 31 appearances for Norwich between 1953 and 1955 after joining from Watford. The Londoner also played for Crystal Palace and York in a 14-year professional career.

The EFL released a statement on Monday afternoon that read: '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.

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

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