Police have decided to issue a statement after Yeovil’s Lee Collins dies suddenly aged 32, leaving the football world shocked.
Tributes poured in from pundits, clubs and fans as the ex-Wolves, Port Vale, Northampton, Mansfield player died, but initially there was no word on how that came to be.
Collins had not played for the Glovers since February though had made eight National League appearances this season.
He started his career and spent a few years of his youth at Wolves before heading elsewhere after struggling to make the first team.
The centre-back went on to impress at Port Vale, also spending time with Northampton, Mansfield and Forest Green, mostly in League Two.
His club tweeted: “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.
“The club will make no further comment at this time.
“Our game with Altrincham tomorrow has been postponed.”
Rest in peace, Lee Collins.
— Yeovil Town FC (@YTFC) April 1, 2021
Police are not treating the death of Yeovil Town’s captain Lee Collins as ‘suspicious’.
Officers confirmed they were called to an address in West Coker in Somerset following reports of a sudden death Wednesday evening (March 31).
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset police said: “Officers attended a report of a sudden death at an address in High Street, West Coker yesterday evening at about 5pm.
“Sadly, the body of a 32-year-old man was located.
“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.”
No details on the circumstances of his death have been revealed.
With Yeovil’s game against Altrincham now postponed, and all other National League games will begin with a minute silence.
Down to ten men at home to Hereford and under the cosh for most of the second half, this was my favourite Lee Collins moment. RIP. pic.twitter.com/6x6d0WGIKG
— Andy Fleming (@flem79) April 1, 2021
A spokesperson said: “The National League is deeply saddened by the tragic news of the passing of Yeovil Town club captain Lee Collins. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family at this time.
“As a mark of respect, a pre-match minute silence will take place at each National League match this weekend.”
BBC Radio Somerset’s Yeovil Town commentator Sheridan Robins told BBC Sport: “The main thing that everyone will be feeling is a deep sense of shock.
“He was a real winner. I remember when he first joined the club we were at rock bottom having been relegated to the National League.
“In his interview he was said he wasn’t there to make friends, he wanted to win.
“He wore his heart on his sleeve on the pitch and was known for his leadership, he was the epitome of a captain, he did everything he could in that 90 minutes to win the three points.”
“Fans just absolutely loved watching him play.”
Northampton Town supporter @javerill14 has paid tribute to former Cobblers defender Lee Collins who has died at the age of 32
— ITV News Anglia (@itvanglia) April 1, 2021
Mansfield Town owner John Radford wrote: “Shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of our former defender and captain, Lee Collins. A no-nonsense, battling braveheart on the field and a gentleman off it. A man who always gave his all in Stags’ colours. We’ll be observing a minute’s silence tomorrow in Lee’s memory.”
Football clubs across the UK have been responding to the tragic news with many paying respect and giving their thoughts to his partner Rachel and his three children.
Hereford FC tweeted: “Lee was a key member of the Hereford United promotion-winning side in 2007-2008. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends, and everyone connected with @YTFC at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Lee.”
Forest Green Rovers tweeted: “We’re sad to hear of the passing of former FGR captain Lee Collins. Lee played for Rovers between 2017 and 2019, making 64 appearances. Our thoughts are with Lee’s family during this time.”
Liverpool FC tweeted: “Our thoughts are with Lee’s family and friends. Rest in peace, Lee Collins.”
— Dan Wilcox (@DanWilcox11) April 1, 2021
Lee Collins memorial at Huish Park, 32 is no age at all. Rest in peace mate 🧤
— Dan (@ding_dan_18) April 1, 2021
Fans reacted as police issue a statement after Yeovil’s Lee Collins dies suddenly…
@Steve_Taylor86: Can’t get memories of Lee Collins out of my head this morning. Gave me some of the best days of my life Bury away, Northampton at home. Great player, top pro and an all around nice guy. Feel broken for his family 32 is no age at all. RIP Lee #WeAllDreamOfATeamOfLeeCollins
@MJE_1982: Absolutely gutted to hear about Lee Collins, really puts life in to perspective. A true pro who always led by example on the pitch and fondly remembered by people at every club he played for. Hope he is now at peace. RIP
@Withers_Jack: Still in shock over the Lee Collins news, just goes to show how precious life is and how fast it can change 😔 RIP skip 🟢⚪️ #YTFC
@andy_craig93: Slept on it and still cannot believe it, such heartbreaking news. A player who wore his heart on his sleeve, galvanised the squad the minute he walked through the door and a leader like no other captaining nearly every club he’s played for. Rest in Peace, Lee Collins
@Harrisoneast3: Devastated by the news of the Lee Collins passing away played a massive part turning things around at the club getting away from the turmoil of being relegated from the football league and the toxic atmosphere at games and was a great captain rest in peace lee! #ytfc
@owd_79: Gutted when I heard the news about Lee Collins, 32 is no age. Lee was a great defender for us, always gave 100%, most of all he was a great guy too. He’ll always be part of the Vale family. Thoughts are with your friends, family & team mates. RIP Lee
@RobinsStuart: I was there that night and it was probably the time we felt the club was back in good hands. Lee Collins thank you and you will be in our hearts forever.
@LadyDoodah: Lee you are part of our family – always. You will be my little brother – always. I will adore you – always. I will miss you – forever. R.I.P Lee Collins xxx
— ValePartyTrainCrew (@VPTC_Boslem) April 2, 2021
Last night our Yeovil supporting Head of Media paid his tributes to the late Lee Collins on behalf of everyone at AFC Portchester.
Again, we’d like to send our condolence to his Family, Friends and everyone connected with @YTFC
RIP Lee 🟠🟢 pic.twitter.com/GkX7OIOAGC
— AFC Portchester (@AFCPortchester) April 2, 2021