Bobby Collins, Don RevieFamily, friends and the football world bid farewell to a great today as Bobby Collins’ funeral service took place at Leeds Minster.

Before Billy Bremner and Eddie Gray were household names, before future greats like Speed and McAllister were even born, Leeds United signed a man who would go on to change the course of the club’s history.

The Leeds United we all know and love today simply wouldn’t exist had it not been for Bobby Collins. At 31 years of age, no one could have foreseen the influence Collins would have in transforming an ‘also-ran’ club into one of Europe’s greatest.

When Collins arrived in 1962, Leeds United were facing relegation to the third tier. But Collins’ influence was quick, The Whites avoided the drop and two years later were promoted to the top flight, all under the careful guidance of captain Collins.

1965 would be Collins’ greatest year in White. A Leeds side on the brink of relegation to the third division only three years earlier were now fighting for the league and cup double, missing out on goal difference to Manchester United in the league and losing the cup final to Liverpool.

But while Leeds and Collins missed out on the silverware, the club had sent a resounding statement of intent to English football and for his part in Leeds’ rise to prominence, 34-year-old Collins was awarded Footballer Of The Year 1965 and recalled to the Scotland squad following a six-year absence.

A broken thigh bone sustained during a Fairs Cup tie in Italy meant Collins was an ex-Leeds United player by the time the club picked up their first piece of silverware in 1968, but his part in making in all happen cannot be overstated and should never be forgotten.

Most Leeds United fans would list Billy Bremner as the club’s greatest ever captain, but the man himself would tell you our greatest ever captain was Bobby Collins.

“They say one man doesn’t make a team, but Bobby Collins came nearer to doing it than anyone else I have ever seen” Billy Bremner

149 appearances over a 5 year period which took Leeds United from the brink of the third division to footballing immortality.

They don’t come much better than Bobby Collins, a football legend to whom Leeds United are eternally thankful, whose defining role in creating our club’s great history will never be forgotten.

RIP Bobby Collins. Marching On Together.