Yeovil Town’s club captain Lee Collins has died at the age of 32.
The defender counted Wolves, Port Vale, Barnsley, Northampton, Mansfield and Forest Green as former clubs and had spent two years with the National League side.
Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious. Collins had a partner Rachel and three daughters, Amelia-Grace, Laila-Rose and Charley-Mae.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset police said: ‘Officers attended a report of a sudden death at an address in High Street, West Coker yesterday evening at about 5pm.
‘Sadly, the body of a 32-year-old man was located.
‘His death is not being treated as suspicious and has been referred to the coroner. His family have been informed and our thoughts are with them.’
Yeovil Town’s club captain Lee Collins has passed away at the age of 32, the club announced
Collins is pictured warming up ahead of Yeovil’s National League game against Barnet last weekend
Collins, a centre-back, signed for the Glovers in 2019 after playing for several EFL clubs
The National League club tweeted out the news on Thursday afternoon and tributes poured in
Collins was an unused substitute in Yeovil’s last match – a 3-1 win over Barnet in the league last Saturday. The club said he died on Wednesday.
Their National League fixture against Altrincham on Friday has been postponed and a minute’s silence will be held at all other games in the division.
Liverpool were among a host of clubs in England and beyond who paid their respects on social media.
Collins last played for Yeovil in their 1-0 defeat at Stockport County on February 6, when he was sent off in the 94th minute.
Collins pictured with his partner Rachel and two of his three daughters
Collins’ uncle posted a tribute to the 32-year-old on his Facebook page
Ian Holloway sent his own tribute at the ‘absolutely awful news’ after Collins passed away
Liverpool were one of dozens of clubs in England and beyond who sent their condolences
Karl Henry tweeted a tribute, saying Collins was ‘a good lad with a great attitude’
His former team-mate at Northampton, Ivan Toney, thanked Collins for helping him
A club statement read: ‘All at Yeovil Town Football Club are mourning the loss of club captain Lee Collins.
‘Lee sadly passed away yesterday and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
‘We ask everyone to respect the family’s privacy at this time.
‘The club will make no further comment at this time.
‘Our game with Altrincham tomorrow has been postponed.’
Collins in action as Yeovil’s captain against Barnet in last season’s National League play-offs
Collins pictured playing for former club Northampton Town in a 2013 game with Exeter City
Collins also captained Mansfield Town, where he made 82 appearances over two seasons
Collins, who hailed from Telford in Shropshire, began his career in the academy at Wolves but didn’t make a first team appearance for the then-Championship club.
During a loan spell at Hereford United in 2007-08, he helped the club win promotion from League Two into League One.
He joined Port Vale in 2008, playing 163 times for the League Two side, before moving on to Barnsley in 2011.
Vale announced they will hold a minute’s silence ahead of their League Two fixture with Exeter City on Friday.
Tom Pope, who played alongside Collins at Vale, said: ‘Lee was a tough, fit, excellent footballer. The enforcer for us, really. The organiser. He was the heartbeat of our dressing room. I am absolutely devastated and my heart goes out to Lee’s family, friends and team mates at this time.’
His former club Northampton Town were among many to tweet out tributes after the sad news
His first club Wolves also tweeted this tribute after Collins’ passing – he was in the club academy at the start of his career
Mansfield Town paid tribute to their former captain. Collins played there for two seasons
The centre-back made seven appearances for the Tykes before being sent out on loan to Shrewsbury Town.
He then moved on to Northampton Town, playing 86 times for the club, and moved on to Mansfield and Forest Green in League Two.
Former clubs Wolves and Northampton – as well as others in the Premier League, the EFL and beyond – tweeted tributes as the sad news broke on Thursday afternoon.
Ian Holloway tweeted: ‘Absolutely awful news. My thoughts are with Lee’s family & friends and everyone at YTFC. Ollie x.’
He was part of the Hereford side, during a loan spell, that won promotion into League One
Another former club, Forest Green Rovers, sent their own tribute on Twitter
A Northampton Town spokesman said: ‘Away from the pitch, Lee was a kind hearted individual who always willing to support the club’s community work and he always had time for others.
‘Although not the most experienced player when he signed, he was regarded as one of the more senior members of the playing squad and a player who others looked up to.
‘His time at the club coincided with Ivan Toney coming up through the academy in to the first team squad and following the sad news, Ivan was quick to pay tribute on social media to the way Lee helped him make the transition from academy player in to the first team.
‘Lee arrived at the club in early 2013 and helped us to the League 2 play offs that season. He played 90 minutes in each of the play off semi finals that season as we beat Cheltenham Town 1-0 in both legs and retained his place for the play off final against Bradford City at Wembley.
‘The following season was a struggle and although injury limited his appearances, he played 25 games and was named club captain during that season.
‘Returned to fitness, he played 43 times in 2014/15 before being released and moving on to Mansfield Town.
Premier League club Leeds United were among the many clubs sending their condolences
Former West Ham forward Frank Nouble, now at Colchester on loan, paid his respects
Collins pictured with Aidy Boothroyd, now England under-21 manager, when at Northampton
Collins with Adebayo Akinfenwa during their days playing together for the Cobblers
‘He was seen as a leader within the group and played either as a centre back or as a full back and was a wholehearted, brave, committed defender who was a popular figure with his fellow players, the club’s staff and supporters.’
Former team-mates posted their own tributes on Twitter.
Ex-Wolves player Karl Henry said: ‘Such sad news. I remember Lee as a young player at Wolves. He was a good lad with a great attitude.’
Ivan Toney, his colleague at Northampton, said: ‘Such sad news. A former teammate always helped me as a young boy coming through. Thoughts go out to his friends and family at such a difficult period.’
The Mansfield Town chairman John Radford paid his respects to the Stags’ former captain
Mansfield owner, John Radford, paid his respect, tweeting: ‘Shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of our former defender and captain, Lee Collins.
‘A no-nonsense, battling braveheart on the field and a gentleman off it. A man who always gave his all in Stags’ colours.
‘We’ll be observing a minute’s silence tomorrow in Lee’s memory.’
Steve Evans, who managed Collins at Mansfield, said just now: ‘Lee was a man of many great values who leaves us far too soon. I had a great relationship with him and valued him as a player, a man and a friend.
‘He was a top professional and my thoughts, prayers and condolences are with his young family, along with his friends and loved ones at this very difficult time.’
Death comes just two weeks after Steve Jagielka passed away at 43
Collins’ death comes just a couple of weeks after another footballer passed away at a young age.
Steve Jagielka, the brother of the former England international Phil,
Midfielder Jagielka played for Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield United and Accrington Stanley during his playing career.
Former Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield United and Accrington Stanley midfielder Steve Jagielka died at the age of 43
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