Oxhill, Stanley, County Durham born left back George Collin began his football career in north east junior football with West Stanley and spent 1922-23 and 1923-24 on the books of West Ham United and Arsenal respectively, without playing for either club’s first elevens. He joined Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic in the 1925 close season, making his Football League debut against Swindon Town that August, missing only five games in his debut season. However he suffered a broken leg in December 1926 and having recovered returned to West Stanley in 1927 after 56 appearances for The Cherries.
Having returned to full fitness, he joined First Division Derby County in November 1927, with manager George Jobey looking to Collin as a successor to Tom Crilly. After making his debut for The Rams the same month in a 4-4 draw at Cardiff City, the Derby Telegraph described him as “a class full-back… cool and discriminate”. He soon established himself and made 28 appearances in 1927-28, as Derby finished fourth in the First Division. He played 42 games in 1928-29, as the club slipped down to sixth place, followed by 35 League appearances in 1929-30, as County finished runners up in the League Championship, ten points behind champions Sheffield Wednesday.
He continued to be a near ever present for The Rams, and was an ever present for the only time in his career in 1932-33, playing 48 games, including being part of the 1933 FA Cup semi final team defeated by Manchester City at Leeds Road Huddersfield. He eventually lost his regular place in The Rams’ line up in September 1935 to future England international Jack Howe, playing just 15 League games in 1935-36, as Derby again finished as runners up in the League Championship, this time finishing eight points behind champions Sunderland.
He transferred to Sunderland in June 1936, having made a total of 334 appearances in his nine seasons at the Baseball Ground. The Wearsiders followed up on their League success by lifting the FA Cup in 1937, though Collin did not appear in the Final, playing only in their third round cup tie win at Southampton. He did however play in their 2-1 FA Charity Shield win over Arsenal in October 1936, and made 33 appearances before he signed for Third Division (North) Port Vale in June 1938. He made his Vale debut in a 3-1 defeat by Aldershot at The Old Recreation Ground on 27th August but wasn’t selected again in the 1938-39 season, and was given a free transfer in April 1939. He then moved into non league football becoming the player-manager of Midland League club Burton Town although his tenure at the club did not survive the Second World War and he retired from football.
NB in the photograph he stands second from the left with (l-r) Sammy Crooks, —, Tom Cooper and Dally Duncan.