A guide to the career of Barnsley's new head coach Neill Collins.
– Born in Troon, Scotland on September 2, 1983, he supported Kilmarnock and was in their academy before being released aged 14.
– He joined amateur club Queen’s Park and made his senior debut aged 17 in March 2001. They were relegated from the Second Division in his first season and finished bottom of the Scottish Football League in his second. During that time, he worked at Safeway.
– He moved to Second Division Dumbarton and impressed during two seasons, having unsuccessful trials at the likes of Charlton Athletic and Rangers. During this time he studied for a degree in sport in the community at the University of Strathclyde.
– He joined Sunderland for £25,000 in 2004. The Black Cats, managed by Barnsley legend Mick McCarthy, won the Championship with Collins playing 11 games.
– Once Sunderland were in the Premier League, they loaned Collins to League One Hartlepool in late 2005 then Neil Warnock’s Premier League-bound Sheffield United in early 2006 but he played just twice. He returned to Sunderland and made his only Premier League appearance in April 2006.
– He left Sunderland later in the year to link up with McCarthy again at Wolverhampton Wanderers and was a regular as they reached the play-off semi-finals but lost to bitter rivals West Brom. Collins netted the only goal in a win over Barnsley at Molineux in 2007. That was the year he made an appearance Scotland B after playing for the under 21s. He never got a senior cap. Wolves would win the Championship in 2008/09 with Collins playing 27 games but none after January.
– He briefly moved to Preston North End but played less than a season there before moving on to Leeds and helping them gain automatic promotion from League One.
– He scored an own goal in Leeds’ 5-2 loss at Oakwell in 2010 then moved to Sheffield United who were relegated to League One. The next season, playing under Reds legend Danny Wilson and alongside future England defender Harry Maguire, he was a regular in the side that missed out on automatic promotion to Sheffield Wednesday with 90 points then lost a play-off final to Huddersfield despite scoring in the shoot-out.
– He captained the Blades in 2012/13 but again they lost in the play-offs, going down 2-0 at Yeovil Town in the semi-final second leg having won the first leg 1-0. The next season, he played in an FA Cup semi-final as the Blades lost 5-3 to Hull City. They would lose in the play-offs in 2015 to Swindon but, by that time, Collins had lost his place in Nigel Clough’s team and been loaned to Port Vale.
– He left the Blades in March 2016 after a five-year spell which saw him make more than 200 appearances. Collins moved to the Tampa Bay Rowdies and spent two seasons there as a player - alongside last season’s Reds coach Martin Paterson - before being made manager in 2018.
– After finishing 12th and fifth in his first two seasons, they were top in 2020 when Covid-19 ended the league then reached the end-of-season play-off final but it was cancelled due to cases in the Rowdies camp.
– They won their league title in 2021 and Collins was named Manager of the Year. They finished third last year and were top when he left this week to join the Reds.