Collins during the Jody Craddock Testimonial in May 2014
|Full name||Neill William Collins|
|Date of birth||2 September 1983|
|Place of birth||Troon, Scotland|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2005–2006||→ Hartlepool United (loan)||22||(0)|
|2006||→ Sheffield United (loan)||2||(0)|
|2006–2007||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||3||(1)|
|2009–2010||→ Preston North End (loan)||16||(0)|
|2010||Preston North End||5||(1)|
|2010||→ Leeds United (loan)||9||(0)|
|2015||→ Port Vale (loan)||7||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:23, 22 October 2015 (UTC).
Born in Troon, Scotland, he is a former Scotland U21 and Scotland B international. He started his playing career with Queen's Park before moving to Dumbarton. A transfer to English side Sunderland followed in 2004 but he failed to establish himself in the first team during his three-year spell on Wearside. After loan moves to Hartlepool United and Sheffield United he was loaned to Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he became a first team regular and signed a permanent deal in 2007. Following Wolves' promotion to the Premier League he fell out of favour and moved on loan again, this time to Preston North End, but although they signed him permanently in 2010, he was never a regular and quickly moved to Leeds United, with whom he won promotion to the Championship in 2010. After losing his place the following season Collins returned to Sheffield United, one of his former loan clubs, for whom he made over 100 appearances. He lost his first team place in the 2014–15 season and joined Port Vale on loan in March 2015.
Collins began his career with Scottish amateur club, Queen's Park, making four appearances in the 2000–01 season as John McCormack's "Spiders" were relegated from the Second Division to the Third Division. He played 31 games as Queen's Park finished bottom of the Scottish Football League in 2001–02.
He earned a move to newly promoted Second Division club Dumbarton in July 2002. During his stay at the Strathclyde Homes Stadium, Collins became popular with the fans and had a spell as captain and was key to Paul Martin's "Sons" battle to stay in the Second Division in 2002–03. He then featured 34 times as Dumbarton finished two points outside the promotion places in 2003–04 under Brian Fairley's stewardship. During his time there he had trials with Falkirk, Hibernian, Rangers and Charlton Athletic.
Collins was signed by Sunderland manager Mick McCarthy in August 2004 for a fee of £25,000. Three months later he signed a new contract to keep him at the Stadium of Light until 2007. He made 11 appearances during the 2004–05 season as the club won promotion to the Premier League as champions of the Championship.
He never appeared in the top-flight for the "Black Cats" after Alan Stubbs was signed, and was instead loaned out to League One side Hartlepool United in August 2005. He made 25 appearances for Martin Scott's "Pools" during his stay at Victoria Park. He was loaned out to Neil Warnock's Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United in February 2006. The "Blades" succeeded in winning promotion in 2005–06, though Collins featured in just two games at Bramall Lane.
With Sunderland back in the Championship in 2006–07, Collins was forced to play in the unfamiliar role of right-back after injuries to team-mates Stephen Wright and Nyron Nosworthy. He was a regular under Mick McCarthy, but when McCarthy left the job, Collins was dropped by replacement manager Roy Keane.
Collins was reunited with his former boss Mick McCarthy at Wolverhampton Wanderers after joining the club on loan in November 2006. The discussion of his loan deal was the first time that Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy had spoken to each other since the Saipan incident in 2002. After his loan expired, he joined Wolves permanently in January 2007 for a fee of £150,000. He was a regular starter for the rest of the 2006–07 season as the club reached the Championship play-offs.
The 2007–08 season saw Wolves miss out on the play-offs on goal difference with Collins making 42 appearances.
Collins started 2008–09 strongly with Wolves but was left out of the first team with the loan arrival of Michael Mancienne from Chelsea. When Mancienne returned to Chelsea in the New Year, Collins returned to the side, partnering Richard Stearman. He contributed several important goals during this period, but was soon ousted from the side again after receiving a red card for dissent at Reading and following the addition of Scottish international Christophe Berra. He remained out of the side for the remainder of the season as the club were promoted to the Premier League as champions, and was transfer listed in July 2009.
Preston North End
In September 2009, Collins was loaned out to Championship side Preston North End, a move made permanent when he signed a three-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee in January 2010. The deal was finalised after manager Alan Irvine left the club, and the defender lost his place in the side under new manager Darren Ferguson.
In March 2010, Collins moved to League One side Leeds United on loan for the rest of the 2009–10 season as a replacement for the injured Patrick Kisnorbo. He played an instrumental part as Leeds were promoted to the Championship after finishing in second place in League One. He signed a three-year deal with Leeds in July 2010 for an undisclosed fee.
He started the 2010–11 season as one of Leeds' first choice defenders, due to Patrick Kisnorbo still being out with a long term injury. After some indifferent performances early on in the season, Collins scored an own goal in Leeds' 5–2 defeat by Barnsley, and was dropped to the bench by manager Simon Grayson at the end of October.
Collins signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Championship side Sheffield United after being signed by Micky Adams for an undisclosed fee in January 2011. He was a regular in defence for the remainder of the 2010–11 season but struggled as the team undertook an ultimately unsuccessful battle against relegation.
Now in League One and under the stewardship of Danny Wilson, the 2011–12 campaign saw Collins establish an effective defensive partnership with fellow centre-back Harry Maguire, and he was awarded supporters Player of the Month for September 2011. He scored his first goal for the "Blades" in February 2012, in a 1–0 victory over Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium. Collins remained a mainstay of the defence but United missed out on automatic promotion, losing to Huddersfield in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium; the match ended in a 0–0 draw, and though Collins converted his penalty United lost the penalty shoot-out 8–7.
With the club still in League One, Collins remained as first choice in central defence alongside Maguire, captaining the side during Michael Doyle's absence. During the first half of the 2012–13 season Collins began to score regularly, netting five times by the start of December as United challenged for automatic promotion. In November he extended his current contract by a further two years until 2015 with the option of another year. His good form was halted when he fractured his cheekbone during a game against Scunthorpe United at the end of December, an injury that ruled him out of action for two months.
He lost his place in the United first team early in the 2014–15 season, and dropped out of manager Nigel Clough's first team plans having failed to make an appearance past October. Despite this he vowed to remained at the club, saying he enjoyed a connection with the club. He joined League One rivals Port Vale on loan until the end of the season on 26 March 2015.
Collins won seven caps at Scotland under-21 level. On 20 November 2007, he played for Scotland B in a 1–1 draw with Republic of Ireland B at the Excelsior Stadium; he came on as a substitute for Darren Dods at half-time.
Style of play
|Season||Club||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|2000–01||Queen's Park||Scottish Second Division||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
|2001–02||Scottish Third Division||28||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||31||0|
|2002–03||Dumbarton||Scottish Second Division||33||2||1||0||1||0||3||0||38||2|
|2005–06||Hartlepool United (loan)||League One||22||0||0||0||2||0||1||0||25||0|
|2005–06||Sheffield United (loan)||Championship||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|2009–10||Preston North End||Championship||21||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||22||1|
|2009–10||Leeds United (loan)||League One||9||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||0|
|2014–15||Port Vale (loan)||7||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||0|
- Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Leeds United
- "Sara fails to win move". BBC Sport. 25 March 2003. Retrieved 25 March 2003.
- "Charlton want Collins". BBC Sport. 21 April 2003. Retrieved 21 April 2003.
- "Player of the Day: Neill Collins". safc.com. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Collins pens Sunderland extension". BBC Sport. 24 November 2004. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Collins joins Hartlepool on loan". BBC Sport. 12 August 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2005.
- "Sheff Utd sign defender Collins". BBC Sport. 18 February 2006. Retrieved 18 February 2006.
- "Wolves loan Black Cat". Sky Sports. 2 November 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
- Keane, Roy (2014). The Second Half. Orion. p. 148. ISBN 9780297608882.
- "Sunderland's Collins joins Wolves". BBC Sport. 5 January 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
- "Dropping Collins hurt - Mick". Express & Star. 18 November 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "Collins ties up move to Preston". BBC Sport. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Preston North End sign Wolverhampton's Neill Collins". BBC Sport. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
- "Leeds sign Preston defender Neill Collins on loan". BBC Sport. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Preston defender Neill Collins joins Leeds United". BBC Sport. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Neill Collins leaves Leeds United for Sheffield United". BBC Sport. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Neill nets monthly award at the Lane". The Sheffield Star. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Huddersfield Town Sheffield United". BBC Sport. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- "Huddersfield 0 - 0 Sheffield United". 26 May 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "Sheffield United defender Neill Collins extends contract". BBC Sport. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Shaun Miller out for the season". BBC Sport. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "Rob Page says treble signing shows Vale aim to finish season in style". The Sentinel. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "Sheffield United: Neill Collins breaks his silence". Sheffield Telegraph. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- "Collins, Junior and Coulibaly make move to Port Vale on loan". BBC Sport. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Neill Collins set for Blades chance as manager Nigel Adkins wipes slate clean". Sheffield Telegraph. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- McLaughlin, Lee (11 February 2007). "Neill: I'd really like to play in the Park again". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- Lindsay, Clive (20 November 2007). "Scotland B 1-1 Rep of Ireland B". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- Claridge, Steve (13 March 2007). "Neill Collins, Wolverhampton Wanderers". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- Includes other competitive competitions, including the Football League Trophy.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Games played by Neill Collins in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Retrieved 4 September 2013.