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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League 16:48 - Jan 13 with 989 viewsdg1937

I have had a quick look at the index and can't see a previous thread about this, apologies if there is one.

September was the 60th anniversary of Tony Collins taking over as (player) manager at Spotland, in doing so he became the first black manager of any club in the Football League. Various newspapers and people like Sky Sports ran features about it..

In these days when there is much talk of statues and plaques and such like I did wonder if there would be any appetite for having some sort of commemorative plaque at the ground? If anyone thinks it's worth pursuing the idea, does anyone on here have contacts with people at the club who might take the suggestion forward?

Appointing a black manager was a pretty bold decision by the chairman at the time and of course Tony served for a good number of seasons and led the club to the League Cup final in 1962. It would be nice if his contribution could be honoured in some way

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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 17:23 - Jan 13 with 951 viewsD_Alien

Is this a different topic?

https://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/rochdale/forum/187373/rochdales-first-bla
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 19:03 - Jan 13 with 855 views1949er

Also, danny bergera the first foreign (Uruguayan) manager?

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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 19:28 - Jan 13 with 840 viewspioneer

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 19:03 - Jan 13 by 1949er

Also, danny bergera the first foreign (Uruguayan) manager?


Dont think he was the first. Chester had a south african born manager in the 1960s. Also Eddie Firmani managed charlton after a fairly long playing career with him...another south african. I expect there mightbe others.
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 23:09 - Jan 13 with 745 viewsmikehunt

I think a commemorative plaque would not go amiss. However, I am torn about whether it would help or hinder matters (in a societal context).
I mean we are trying to develop a world where the colour of one’s skin is not supposed to matter. So we simply appointed the best man for the job at the time. No Rooney’s Law or positive discrimination. He was just one of a long string of managers that we have had. Was it a brave appointment at the time?
A plaque would just draw attention to the fact that there have been so few other black people in senior roles over the years. It could prove divisive but would certainly put us on the map. And that’s not a bad thing and a record that can’t be taken away from us.

So ... erm ah blx! I’ve lost my thread.....

Rochdale: where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are above average.

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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 02:42 - Jan 14 with 705 viewspioneer

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 23:09 - Jan 13 by mikehunt

I think a commemorative plaque would not go amiss. However, I am torn about whether it would help or hinder matters (in a societal context).
I mean we are trying to develop a world where the colour of one’s skin is not supposed to matter. So we simply appointed the best man for the job at the time. No Rooney’s Law or positive discrimination. He was just one of a long string of managers that we have had. Was it a brave appointment at the time?
A plaque would just draw attention to the fact that there have been so few other black people in senior roles over the years. It could prove divisive but would certainly put us on the map. And that’s not a bad thing and a record that can’t be taken away from us.

So ... erm ah blx! I’ve lost my thread.....


Rooney rule is 100% consistent with best person for job being interviewed and appointed. It simply requires that at least one ethnic minority applicant that meets the qualifications for the position be interviewed. Employers can choose as many non ethnic minority candidates as the like to interview and the best person for the job then be appointed.

Tony Collins was already at the club as a player and so was well placed for competing for the position. It would be interesting to know if others were interviewed and who they were. Not sure if that was in the book.
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 08:41 - Jan 14 with 664 viewsAtThePeake

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 23:09 - Jan 13 by mikehunt

I think a commemorative plaque would not go amiss. However, I am torn about whether it would help or hinder matters (in a societal context).
I mean we are trying to develop a world where the colour of one’s skin is not supposed to matter. So we simply appointed the best man for the job at the time. No Rooney’s Law or positive discrimination. He was just one of a long string of managers that we have had. Was it a brave appointment at the time?
A plaque would just draw attention to the fact that there have been so few other black people in senior roles over the years. It could prove divisive but would certainly put us on the map. And that’s not a bad thing and a record that can’t be taken away from us.

So ... erm ah blx! I’ve lost my thread.....


I'd say that drawing attention to the fact that there have been so few is partly the point. Ensuring that people are aware of the past and the mistakes made by the football world forms part of the way forward - particularly when it's still a very prominent issue in the game today.

Tangled up in blue.

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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 17:20 - Jan 14 with 571 viewsdg1937

Thank you to those who have replied. To respond to the points made:

The previous thread was about your first black player, who turned out to be Calvin Symonds rather than Tony Collins. Calvin is alive and well (age 88) and recently sent New Year greetings from sunny Bermuda (see the 'black player' thread). Tony Collins is also still going strong at 94, so maybe there is something in the Rochdale air that encourages longevity!

As far as I know, Eddie Firmani was a white South African. I don't know who the un-named manager of Chester was but I would hazard a guess that he was also a white South African. Danny Bergara was also white and in any case was a manager long after Tony Collins.

I know not everyone is happy with stuff like Black Lives Matter, taking the knee and so on and I understand that, but I think this is about celebrating a Rochdale first. My particular beef is that there is a long history of Black people in Britain that isn't taught in schools and is mostly unknown. Britain was ruled by a Black man when it was part of the Roman Empire (Septimus Severus, who died in York in the year 211); there were black sailors at the Battle of Trafalgar and Black soldiers at the Battle of Waterloo, but no one ever talks about them.

Rochdale broke new ground when they appointed Tony in 1960, the Chairman at the time said: “we were aware that eyebrows might be raised because of his colour. But that makes no difference, and we sincerely hope that it will make no difference in his career as manager.” If you are interested you can read more on Tony here (including his comments on the 'Rooney rule'): https://footballs-black-pioneers.com/about/tony-collins-first-black-manager/

I don't think a plaque would be controversial (or rather, it shouldn't be) it is about celebrating someone who made a little piece of history at Rochdate in 1960. I don't think it would reflect negatively on other Rochdale managers before (e.g Harry Catterick, Jack Marshall etc) or since.

As I said in my first post, I don't have any contacts at the club and some of you might have. If you think some sort of commemorative plaque at the ground would be worth exploring then please raise it with the club.

Apologies for the long post, I wanted to explain why I think it's important but I understand 100% that others may feel differently.
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 17:43 - Jan 14 with 559 viewsmingthemerciless

Tony was the manager when I first started going up to Spotland. He built several very entertaining teams with next to nothing in the terms of finance. Reg Jenkins for £2,250 ! A master stroke.
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 19:54 - Jan 14 with 521 viewspioneer

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 17:20 - Jan 14 by dg1937

Thank you to those who have replied. To respond to the points made:

The previous thread was about your first black player, who turned out to be Calvin Symonds rather than Tony Collins. Calvin is alive and well (age 88) and recently sent New Year greetings from sunny Bermuda (see the 'black player' thread). Tony Collins is also still going strong at 94, so maybe there is something in the Rochdale air that encourages longevity!

As far as I know, Eddie Firmani was a white South African. I don't know who the un-named manager of Chester was but I would hazard a guess that he was also a white South African. Danny Bergara was also white and in any case was a manager long after Tony Collins.

I know not everyone is happy with stuff like Black Lives Matter, taking the knee and so on and I understand that, but I think this is about celebrating a Rochdale first. My particular beef is that there is a long history of Black people in Britain that isn't taught in schools and is mostly unknown. Britain was ruled by a Black man when it was part of the Roman Empire (Septimus Severus, who died in York in the year 211); there were black sailors at the Battle of Trafalgar and Black soldiers at the Battle of Waterloo, but no one ever talks about them.

Rochdale broke new ground when they appointed Tony in 1960, the Chairman at the time said: “we were aware that eyebrows might be raised because of his colour. But that makes no difference, and we sincerely hope that it will make no difference in his career as manager.” If you are interested you can read more on Tony here (including his comments on the 'Rooney rule'): https://footballs-black-pioneers.com/about/tony-collins-first-black-manager/

I don't think a plaque would be controversial (or rather, it shouldn't be) it is about celebrating someone who made a little piece of history at Rochdate in 1960. I don't think it would reflect negatively on other Rochdale managers before (e.g Harry Catterick, Jack Marshall etc) or since.

As I said in my first post, I don't have any contacts at the club and some of you might have. If you think some sort of commemorative plaque at the ground would be worth exploring then please raise it with the club.

Apologies for the long post, I wanted to explain why I think it's important but I understand 100% that others may feel differently.


Think you misinterpreted my post...it was in response to 1949ers post aboutBergara being possiblythe first overseas born manager in footballleague. It was not disputing Collins status as the first manager “of colour’ (apologies if thats not the appropriate term....I am never quite sure of the appropriate terminology). To y proudly stands as a pioneer and something all Rochdale fans can be proud of.
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 20:34 - Jan 14 with 495 viewsforeverhopefulDale

I think Danny Bergara was the first South American manager in British football.
[Post edited 15 Jan 16:32]

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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 22:20 - Jan 14 with 462 viewssxdale

I thought Danny Bergara was the 1st non British manager to lead a league team out at Wembley?
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 16:34 - Jan 15 with 360 viewsforeverhopefulDale

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 22:20 - Jan 14 by sxdale

I thought Danny Bergara was the 1st non British manager to lead a league team out at Wembley?


According to Wikipedia, he was. Does anyone know for definite?

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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 18:09 - Jan 15 with 299 viewsforeverhopefulDale

According to the League Managers Association

Danny Bergara was the first foreign manager to take over an English League club - when he arrived in the country in 1988 from Uruguay via Spain.”

http://www.leaguemanagers.com/managers/danny-bergara/

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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 20:33 - Jan 15 with 245 viewspioneer

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 18:09 - Jan 15 by foreverhopefulDale

According to the League Managers Association

Danny Bergara was the first foreign manager to take over an English League club - when he arrived in the country in 1988 from Uruguay via Spain.”

http://www.leaguemanagers.com/managers/danny-bergara/


Peter Hauser was born in kimberley south africa in 1933 and was signed by Blackpool from kimberley athletic in 1952. He served as manager of Chester from 1963-1968.

Eddie Firmani was born in Cape Town in 1934 joined Charlton Athletic from Clyde FC (Cape Town) in 1950. He served as manager of Charlton Athletic from 1967-1970.

I suspect Bergara’s status is as the first South American born manager of football league club as mentioed in this thread.
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 20:47 - Jan 15 with 238 viewsD_Alien

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 20:33 - Jan 15 by pioneer

Peter Hauser was born in kimberley south africa in 1933 and was signed by Blackpool from kimberley athletic in 1952. He served as manager of Chester from 1963-1968.

Eddie Firmani was born in Cape Town in 1934 joined Charlton Athletic from Clyde FC (Cape Town) in 1950. He served as manager of Charlton Athletic from 1967-1970.

I suspect Bergara’s status is as the first South American born manager of football league club as mentioed in this thread.


You're right, otherwise the list of "foreign born" managers would also have to include Noel Cantwell
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 22:16 - Jan 15 with 211 viewspioneer

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 20:47 - Jan 15 by D_Alien

You're right, otherwise the list of "foreign born" managers would also have to include Noel Cantwell


Aye, and I dare say a few other managers born in tne Republic....Johnny Carey being an obvious one.
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Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 20:02 - Jan 16 with 129 viewsdg1937

Tony Collins - First black manager in the Football League on 19:54 - Jan 14 by pioneer

Think you misinterpreted my post...it was in response to 1949ers post aboutBergara being possiblythe first overseas born manager in footballleague. It was not disputing Collins status as the first manager “of colour’ (apologies if thats not the appropriate term....I am never quite sure of the appropriate terminology). To y proudly stands as a pioneer and something all Rochdale fans can be proud of.


No problem.

Just as a general point, I've been on a number of forums over the past few years and this is probably the most civil, too often threads on other forums degenerate very quickly into name calling. When circumstance permit I look forward to visiting Spotland to watch a game.

Let me know when the plaque goes up!!
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