This is the story of the English football league’s first black manager. Tony Collins was a young man, born into disadvantaged circumstances, in a time period between two world wars where nothing was certain, except the kind of reception a black man would receive when attempting to move into a slightly brutal but reserved world of top class white sportsmen. After becoming the very first Black English Football League manager in history, Tony went on to be one of the most influential ‘backroom boys’ the game has ever seen, being labelled ‘The Teacher’ and football’s ‘Master Spy’ by the National Press. The story falls naturally into three distinct parts:
Part I: His early life as a child in London, his schooling and army life in Italy.
Part II: His career as a football player and time as a manager.
Part III: His time as a chief scout for the top teams of the day and the England side under well-known names as Revie and Atkinson.