Ex-Sunderland centre-back who played 163 times for Black Cats announces retirement

A popular ex-Sunderland defender has decided to call time on an 18-year professional playing career aged 39.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 7:00 am

Danny Collins signed for Sunderland for £140,000 under Mick McCarthy, a move which annoyed then Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock who hit out at the way Chester handled the transfer.

After five years at the North East club – which saw the Welsh International make 163 appearances, win the Championship twice and scoop two Fans' Player of the Year awards – Collins joined Stoke City for an initial fee of £2.75 million.

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Danny Collins celebrates scoring against Aston Villa at the Stadium of Light on January 17, 2009.

Collins, when asked if he was officially retired on The Roar Podcast, said: “I’d say so now, yeah. I didn’t say in the summer because I was weighing things up.”

And the former six-time England C international, who has settled in County Durham with his wife and young children, explained the reasons behind the decision and his plans for the future.

“I’ve been back up and down travelling to Grimsby the last three-years, staying down there three nights a week,” he said.

“My little boys are getting older, so they were getting a bit sick of me being away. I’m also looking at getting full-time into coaching work.”

Collins, who has worked as a co-commentator for the BBC on Sunderland games this season, concluded: “I enjoy a bit of media stuff as well. Different avenues, we’ll see where we go.”