Former Lancashire all-rounder Roy Collins has died at the age of 75.
Roy was a strongly built, talented all-rounder. In his youth he was invited to join the Lancashire Cricket Federation in its foundation year. As a hard-hitting batsman and useful off-spin bowler, he forced his way into Lancashire’s first XI in 1954, making his debut against Hampshire at Portsmouth. Batting at no.7, he was joint top scorer with Alan Wharton after Roy Tattersall had bowled Hampshire out for 59 on a turning wicket.
Roy Collins went on to play 119 First Class matches for his county 1954-62. He was capped in 1961 after he scored an unbeaten century at Bath against Somerset. The previous match, playing Sussex at Old Trafford, he took 6-63 on a drying wicket. His victims included household names Langridge, Lenham, Kenny Suttle and Ted Dexter. The following season he hit 25 sixes in county cricket, just before the one-day game was introduced.
Roy’s all-round talents attracted league clubs and Leek Cricket Club in the Staffordshire League sought his services as a professional for four years. He moved to Lowerhouse in the Lancashire League for three years, then Blackburn in the Ribblesdale League for four years, and finally Rochdale. In his forties, he played for Didsbury as an amateur, invited to be Chairman, then President of the Club. Roy played many years for Cheshire until 1970.
A plaque set in the wall of the indoor school in Wythington acknowledges the 32 years Roy spent as a residential coach for the Manchester Education Committee. Many Lancashire and England cricketers used the facility which was one of the first purpose built cricket schools.
In his early playing days Roy worked for a textile company, then set up his own insurance brokers company with his wife Doris who is Jim Cumbes’ sister. In retirement Roy was a regular attendee at our Lancashire Players Association functions and was an enthusiastic supporter of the game. Last year he was coaching and advising in various clubs and schools, giving back to the game some of the knowledge and comradeship he enjoyed throughout his career.
Our deepest sympathies go to Doris and family from their many friends at Old Trafford.