Bobby Collins: former Celtic, Everton and Leeds player dies, aged 82

Former Celtic, Everton, Leeds United and Scotland midfielder Bobby Collins has died, aged 82.

Just 5ft 3in tall, Collins became known as "The Wee Barra" to Celtic fans during the 1950s.

He was sold to Everton for a club-record £23,500 in 1958 and present chairman Bill Kenwright says the Glaswegian helped transform the club.

Former team-mate Eddie Gray said he rated Collins as "the most influential player" in Leeds' history.

Bobby Collins was probably the most influential player in the history of Leeds United

Eddie Gray Former Leeds United defender

Having been signed by Don Revie for £25,000 in 1962, the Scot was pivotal, as captain, to their promotion to the old First Division.

Collins was named the English Football Writers' player of the year in 1965 as Leeds finished runners-up in both the league and FA Cup.

However, he suffered a serious injury the following season in a European tie and he subsequently moved on to play for Bury, Greenock Morton, Ringwood City, Melbourne Hakoah, Oldham Athletic and Shamrock Rovers.

Collins, who was capped 31 times for Scotland, also managed Huddersfield Town, Hull City and Barnsley, as well as having two spells coaching with Leeds.

"In my opinion, Bobby Collins was probably the most influential player in the history of Leeds United," Gray told Leeds' website.

Bobby Collins in an Everton jersey

Collins signed for Everton from Celtic for a club-record fee in 1958

"He will be sadly missed by all who knew him and played with him."

Collins made 167 appearances during his five-year stint at Elland Road, scoring 26 goals, having previously played 147 times for Everton, scoring 48 times.

Kenwright told Everton's website: "I am extremely saddened to hear of the death of one of my idols, Bobby Collins.

"Bobby was very much a part of Everton's life and helped transform the club from the minute he arrived at Goodison Park in 1958 as our record signing.

"He was pivotal and inspirational during his four seasons with the Blues and will never be forgotten by our fans and everyone at Everton Football Club."

A statement on Celtic's website said the club was saddened to hear the news that a man they considered a club legend had lost his long battle against illness.

Collins, from the Govanhill area of Glasgow, joined Celtic in August 1948, making his debut a year later in a 3-2 League Cup win over Rangers.

He went on to make a total of 320 appearances, scoring 116 goals, and enjoyed Scottish Cup and League Cup triumphs with the Parkhead club.