Tom MorganThu, 1 April 2021, 2:30 pm
Yeovil Town captain Lee Collins has been found dead at his home, at the age of 32.
The National League club suspended its fixture against Altrincham on Friday after staff were left reeling by the discovery of his body on Wednesday.
A host of figures across the lower tiers paid tribute to Collins, who began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers before stints at Port Vale, Barnsley, Northampton Town, Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers.
A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police told Telegraph Sport that officers had been called to “a sudden death at an address in High Street, West Coker” at 5pm on Tuesday. “Sadly, the body of a 32-year-old man was located,” a spokeswoman added. “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.”
Collins joined Yeovil in 2019 and was in attendance for the club’s 3-1 win against Barnet on Saturday, although he was an unused substitute. His last appearance, prior to an injury, was on Feb 6 against Stockport.
Yeovil, who have not revealed the cause of Collins’ death, said in a statement: “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.”
A minute’s silence will take place at every National League game on Friday for the centre-back who made 470 professional appearances, 37 of them for Yeovil.
Ian Holloway, the former Blackpool and Crystal Palace manager, said the death was “absolutely awful news”. “My thoughts are with Lee’s family & friends and everyone at YTFC,” he tweeted.
Collins’ former club Northampton added: “We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of former defender Lee Collins.”
Mansfield wrote: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former captain Lee Collins, who has passed away aged 32. Lee played for us from 2015 to 2017. Our sincere condolences are sent to his loved ones at this incredibly difficult time. Rest in peace, Collo.”
Sheridan Robins, a commentator for BBC Radio Somerset, described Collins as a “real winner”. “In his interview he said he wasn’t there to make friends, he wanted to win,” Robins said.