Bobby Collins (footballer)

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Bobby Collins
Personal information
Full nameRobert Young Collins [1]
Date of birth(1931-02-16)16 February 1931
Place of birth Govanhill, Glasgow, Scotland
Date of death 13 January 2014(2014-01-13) (aged 82)
Place of death Leeds, England
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
Polmadie Hawthorn Juveniles
Senior career*
1949–1958 Celtic 220 (81)
1958–1962 Everton 133 (42)
1960Southern Suburbs (loan)
1962–1967 Leeds United 149 (24)
1967–1969 Bury 75 (6)
1969–1971 Greenock Morton 55 (3)
1971 Ringwood City 6 (0)
1972 Melbourne Hakoah
1972 Ringwood City
1972–1973 Oldham Athletic 7 (0)
1973–1974 Shamrock Rovers 11 (1)
National team
1950–1965 Scotland 31 (10)
1951–1958 Scottish League XI 16 (12)
1958 [2] SFL trial v SFA 1 (0)
1959–1960 [3] [4] SFA trial v SFL 2 (0)
Teams managed
1974 Huddersfield Town
1977–1978 Hull City
1984–1985 Barnsley
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Robert Young Collins (16 February 1931 – 13 January 2014) was a Scotland international football player, best known for his successful spells at Celtic, Everton and Leeds United. [5]



He was born on 16 February 1931 in Govanhill, Glasgow, Scotland, the eldest of Tom and Bella Collins's six children. [6] He signed a contract with Everton from Pollok at the age of 17, but after a contractual dispute he eventually ended up joining Celtic instead of Everton; he was also working as an apprentice cobbler at the time. [7] He made his debut at outside-right against Old Firm rivals Rangers on 13 August 1949, getting the better of Jock Shaw he helped Celtic to a 3–2 Scottish League Cup victory. [8] Despite being just about 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m) tall, Collins was a strong, hard-working midfield player who was in the Celtic team as a 17-year-old and stayed there for ten years, winning the Scottish Cup in 1951, and the Scottish cup double in 1954. He was also called up for international duty in 1950, and maintained a frequent presence in the Scotland squad in the later stages of the decade. Collins also represented the Scottish League XI 16 times, scoring 12 goals. [9]


In 1958 he joined Everton where he played until 1962. [10]

Leeds United

He was an astute addition to the Leeds squad by manager Don Revie in 1962, helping the club avoid relegation. Revie later described Collins as his best ever signing. [11] Leeds won promotion to the First Division in 1964, and Collins captained the side towards a potential League and FA Cup double a year later; however, Leeds missed out on the League on goal average to Manchester United, and lost the 1965 FA Cup Final to Liverpool. Collins's achievements at Leeds were recognised when he was awarded the Footballer of the Year title in 1965. His sparkling form at Leeds also won him a recall to the Scotland squad after a six-year absence, and he earned three more caps. His international career ended with 31 appearances and ten goals. Collins continued to skipper Leeds until 1966, when he suffered a horrific broken thighbone in a Fairs Cup tie against Torino. He briefly came back from the injury, but age and a struggle to reclaim previous form brought his Leeds career to an end. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]

Later playing career

Bury signed Collins and he stayed there for two years. [10]

During a short period back in his native Scotland with Greenock Morton, he doubled up as a scout for Revie, and recommended Joe Jordan. Jordan went on to become a respected and feared striker with Leeds, Manchester United, Milan and Scotland.

In 1972 Collins was playing coach of Australian club Ringwood City but left after a disagreement with the club board. [18]

He then had a spell as player/coach with Oldham.

Collins signed for Shamrock Rovers in November 1973 making his début on the 11th at Glenmalure Park. He played a total of 13 games, 11 in the league scoring once on his second appearance at Finn Harps. [12]

Management career

Collins went into management, with spells at Huddersfield Town, Hull City and Barnsley. He also coached within the Leeds youth set-up in the 1970s and then again in the late 1990s. [19]



SeasonClubDivisionLeague FA Cup
Scottish Cup
League Cup
Scottish League Cup
Other [20] Total
1949–50 Celtic First Division 267406120388
1950–51 27157283504720
1951–52 30122081234216
1952–53 143500020213
1953–54 25100040403310
1954–55 205712110307
1955–56 2644463424013
1956–57 20562114203911
1957–58 301931107304627
1958–59 21007610107
1958–59 Everton First Division 32743003610
1959–60 421410004314
1960–61 40161051004617
1961–62 195320000227
1961–62 Leeds United Second Division 111000000111
1962–63 418310000449
1963–64 416201000446
1964–65 First Division 3998011004810
1965–66 100000020120
1966–67 7000002090
1966–67 Bury Second Division 100000000100
1967–68 Third Division 434314000505
1968–69 Second Division 222101000242
1969–70 Greenock Morton First Division 282200000302
1970–71 271100040321
1972–73 Oldham Athletic Third Division 7021000091
Career total [21] 63915668187328345814207

International appearances

Scotland national team
Total [22] 3010

International goals

Managerial record

Managerial record by team and tenure
Huddersfield Town 3 July 197423 December 1974237412030.4
Hull City 1 October 197710 February 1978256811024.0
Barnsley 8 February 198425 June 198565241922036.9
Total [23] 113373145032.7


Celtic [24]
Leeds United [24]
Bury [24]

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  1. "Bobby Collins". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  2. Scottish trial match at Easter Road, Glasgow Herald, 4 February 1958
  3. The selectors still have problems, The Bulletin, 17 March 1959
  4. Ronnie McDevitt (2016). Scotland in the 60s: The Definitive Account of the Scottish National Football Side During the 1960s. Pitch Publishing. ISBN   9781785312458.
  5. "BOBBY COLLINS". Leeds United. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  6. Saffer 2004 , p. 11
  7. Saffer 2004 , p. 16
  8. Saffer 2004 , p. 17
  9. "SFL player Robert Young Collins". London Hearts Supporters' Club. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Collins, Robert Young". or empty |url= (help)
  11. Bobby Collins Obituary, The Guardian 14 January 2014
  12. 1 2 "Bobby Collins". Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  13. "Bobby Collins Part 1 – An appreciation". Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  14. "Bobby Collins Part 2 – Home grown hero". Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  15. "Bobby Collins Part 3 – From Sweden to Liverpool". Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  16. "Bobby Collins Part 4 – Back from the dead". Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  17. "Bobby Collins Part 5 – End of the line". Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  18. "Collins, Robert Young". Australian Player Database. OzFootball. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  19. O'Henley, Alex (14 January 2014). "'Inspirational' Scot Collins mourned". UEFA . Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  20. Includes other competitive competitions, including the Glasgow Cup, Glasgow Merchants Charity Cup, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and Texaco Cup.
  21. Saffer 2004 , pp. 188–90
  22. Saffer 2004 , pp. 186–87
  23. Bobby Collins management career statistics at Soccerbase
  24. 1 2 3 Saffer 2004 , p. 191