Port Vale pays tribute to former Valiant Lee Collins, who has sadly passed away at the age of 32.
Everyone at Port Vale is saddened by the news of the death of Lee Collins who played more than 150 games for the Valiants.
Lee was born in Telford in September 1988 and began his football career with Wolves. He had a loan spell at Hereford United then joined the Vale on loan in July 2008.
He became a Vale regular at left back – although he could also play at centre half – and the move was made permanent in January 2009. He was a fixture of the Vale defence over the next four years, scoring four goals in 163 appearances.
Two days after Vale went into administration in March 2012, Lee joined Barnsley on loan – with the proviso of a permanent move for £50,000 at the end of the season as one of Vale’s most saleable assets.
He moved to Northampton in 2013 and effectively scored the goal that took Vale to promotion in 2013. Vale needed a point from their final home game against Northampton to go up but were losing 2-1 late in the game when Lee famously scored an own goal.
He later played for Mansfield, Forest Green and Yeovil, where he was still a player at the time of his death.
Tom Pope, who played alongside Lee at Vale, said: “Lee was a tough, fit, excellent footballer. The enforcer for us, really. The organiser. He was the heartbeat of our dressing room. I am absolutely devastated and my heart goes out to Lee’s family, friends and team mates at this time.”
There will be a minute's silence in memory of Lee ahead of Good Friday's 3pm kick off against Exeter City.
Everyone at Port Vale Football Club extends their deepest condolences to his partner Rachel and his three children.
RIP, Lee Collins. Forever a Valiant.