Former Halifax Town player John Collins dies, aged 71

John CollinsJohn Collins
John Collins
Former Halifax Town player John Collins has died aged 71.

Left-back John Collins must have felt he was destined for great things with First Division Tottenham Hotspur, particularly when he made his debut at left-back in a 2-0 defeat at Sunderland on 26 March 1966, lining up alongside the likes of Dave Mackay, Alan Mullery and Jimmy Greaves.

He was selected for the following week’s 3-2 home defeat by Nottingham Forest, but thereafter, Collins’ time was spent in the reserves who competed in the

Football Combination.

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Still, he showed enough promise to win the first of seven Wales Under 23 caps, albeit part of a side drubbed 8-0 by England on 12 October 1966. But it wasn’t until he left for Second Division Portsmouth in May 1971 that his career took off.

Costing the princely sum of £20,000, he suffered injury in only his second match but recovered to make the left-back berth his own and went on to make 74 league appearances for Pompey.

Out of contract, and having spent a second summer playing for Dallas Tornado in the NASL, Collins joined Third Division Halifax Town, then managed by George Mulhall, upon his return, and filled the left-back berth over the course of two seasons.

In the match at Watford on 7 September 1974, he scored his first league goal, a somewhat flukish left-wing cross which found its way in. He would serve under three Town managers, but suffered relegation under Alan Ball snr, and though retained by the club, joined Sheffield Wednesday for £4,000.

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With the Hillsborough club Collins made only seven league appearances before being loaned out to Barnsley. He eventually made a permanent move to Oakwell, going on to make 130 league appearances and score his second league goal.

In 1978-79, under Allan Clarke, Collins was ever-present as Barnsley secured promotion from the Fourth Division.

He wound down his career with Southern League Kidderminster Harriers.

Thank you to Johnny Meynell for his help with this article.