Scottish defender in the spotlight.
Scottish defender Neill Collins made 24 appearances for Sunderland in a three-year spell on Wearside between 2004 and 2007.
Collins won two promotions with the Black Cats after signing from Dumbarton of the Scottish Second Division for a fee of £25,000.
Born in Ayrshire, Collins began his career with Queen’s Park before moving to Dumbarton in 2002 where he would go on to become a fans’ favourite and play a key role in the Sons’ successful fight against relegation.
Neill was signed by Mick McCarthy as Sunderland looked to bounce back from their playoff defeat to Crystal Palace a season earlier.
After making his Black Cats debut in a 1-0 defeat at Reading, Collins went on to make 14 appearances during his debut campaign as McCarthy’s side won the Championship with 94 points.
He never appeared in the top flight for McCarthy’s side, though, and he was loaned out to League One side Hartlepool United and Championship promotion hopefuls Sheffield United during the 2005–06 season.
He did, however, play in both FA Cup games during that campaign and he scored his first goal for the club in a 3-0 win over Northwich Victoria.
Neill made eight appearances at the start of the 2006-07 season as the Black Cats returned to the second tier and he scored in Niall Quinn’s final game as manager as Sunderland defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Collins joined Wolves on loan at the end of the campaign before making the move permanent ahead of the 2007-08 season.
Neill spent two years with Wolves, making over 80 league appearances before enjoying spells with Preston North End and Leeds United.
He joined Sheffield United in 2011 and still plies his trade at Bramall Lane having made over 100 league appearances for the Blades.