'Inspirational' Scot Collins mourned

Former Celtic FC, Everton FC, Leeds United AFC and Scotland midfielder Bobby Collins, a superb player of the 1950s and 1960s who led by example, has passed away at the age of 82.

Bobby Collins in 1959, a year after his record move to Everton
Bobby Collins in 1959, a year after his record move to Everton ©Getty Images

Tributes have been paid to former Celtic FC, Everton FC, Leeds United AFC and Scotland midfielder Bobby Collins, who has passed away at the age of 82.

The Glaswegian, affectionately known as 'The Wee Barra' because of his diminutive frame, joined Celtic in 1948 and went on to make 320 appearances, registering 116 goals – thus becoming one of only 28 players to have scored 100 or more for the Parkhead side.

Collins was sold to Everton for a then club record of £23,500 in 1958, and helped transform the Merseyside team according to current chairman Bill Kenwright. "I am extremely saddened to hear of the death of one of my idols, Bobby Collins," Kenwright told Everton's website.

"Bobby was very much a part of Everton's life and helped transform the club from the minute he arrived at Goodison Park in 1958 as our record signing. He was pivotal and inspirational during his four seasons with the Blues, and will never be forgotten by our fans and everyone at Everton." Collins played 147 times for the Blues.

The midfielder joined Don Revie's Leeds side in 1962 and was a key figure in their promotion to the old English First Division. Former team-mate Eddie Gray rated him as "the most influential player in Leeds's history". He made 167 outings during his five-year stint at Elland Road, scoring 26 goals, and was named English Football Writers' Player of the Year in 1965.

A serious injury the following season in a European competition match effectively ended his playing days, though Collins would play out his career at Bury FC, Greenock Morton FC, Ringwood City SC, Melbourne Hakoah, Oldham Athletic AFC and Shamrock Rovers FC. Collins, who was capped 31 times by Scotland, netting ten goals, also managed Huddersfield Town AFC, Hull City AFC and Barnsley FC, as well as enjoying two spells as a coach with Leeds.

A statement on the Celtic website said: "Bobby Collins was a true Celtic legend and one of Scotland's all-time great players. His contribution to the success of both Celtic and Leeds is testament to that. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Celtic are with Bobby's family and friends at this very sad time."