Tony Collins – the first black manager in English football league history – dies at the age of 94

TONY COLLINS, who was named player / manager of Rochdale Football Club in 1960 and became the first black manager in English league football, passed away on Aug. February at the age of 94

Collins began his professional career on Wednesday in Sheffield before moving to York City, Watford, Norwich City, Torquay United and Crystal Palace and ending up at Spotland in 1959, where he was promoted to player / manager after just one season

He played the double role for a short time before hanging up his playing boots, and remained in charge of the team until 1967

During his seven-year tenure at Rochdale, Tony led the club to the 1962 League Cup final and lost 4-0 to Norwich over two legs. To date, it is one of only two League Cup finals for a fourth-rate team

In addition to his roles as assistant manager and caretaker manager at Bristol City, he worked as a scout for a number of clubs including Leeds United and Manchester United

Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his “deepest condolences”, adding, “His family should be very proud of everything he has achieved”


Howard Wilkinson, chairman of the League Managers Association (LMA) said, “Tony was a true pioneer in the sport”

He continued, “He was known throughout the game for his ability to identify and nurture talent, a skill that enabled him to have a huge impact on the lives of others”

Nottingham Forest Chief Executive Chris Hughton, an LMA board member, added: “Tony has always been an inspiration to me as I and my colleagues continue a campaign for more diversity in management and coaching in the game. He is very much missed become ”

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TONY COLLINS

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