Tony Collins

Tony is an historian and author, an emeritus professor of history at De Montfort University, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Sports Humanities and a visiting professor at Beijing Sports University.

His books have won the Aberdare Prize for Sports History four times since 1999 and he has been a consultant to numerous TV and radio programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s 30-part 2012 series Sport and the British with Clare Balding, the History Channel’s Alfie Allen’s Football: A Brief History, BBC Wales’ The Rugby Codebreakers, and the 2019 New Zealand TV series The Story of Rugby.

He also works as a historical consultant to Rugby League Cares, the rugby league charity. Tony was a member of the RFU’s World Rugby Museum sub-committee from 2012 to 2020, and from April 2017 to March 2019 he was a member of the Yorkshire and Humber committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Collins was formerly a member of the Historians’ Panel of the National Football Museum Hall of Fame. From 2014 to 2019 he was a director of the Hull Kingston Rovers Community Trust.

Collins was chairperson of the British Society for Sports History in 2001 and the editor of the academic journal Sport in History from 2001 to 2007. From 2006 to 2010 Tony led the Institute of Northern Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, and from 2011 to 2013 he was the Director of the International Centre for Sports History & Culture at De Montfort University. Tony currently lecture at the Institute of Sports Humanities.

In March 2018 Collins began the weekly Rugby Reloaded podcast on the history of rugby and the other football codes, which will air several times a week on