In its rich history, Bristol has nurtured some of the great stars of the past and present.
We would like to thank Dave Fox and Mark Hoskins for allowing us to take advantage of the superb research they did for their book "Bristol Football Club (RFU) - 100 Greats". Dave and Mark contributed the information and the images.
If you would like to get more information on the club, its players and its history, then you can buy their book at most leading bookshops in Bristol.
To search for a particular player, use the Search box below.
Date of Birth: 20/7/1942
Honours: Gloucestershire, Somerset, Irish Wolfhounds, Western Counties, South West
Career: 1961-71 303 games
Scored: 146t, 5c, 1p, 1dg = 454 pts
Mike Collins was one of Bristol's most consistent players throughout the 1960s. Fast and powerful, he was a prolific try scorer regarded as one of the finest wings never to be capped.
As a youngster Collins preferred boxing, but was attracted to rugby because his older brother played. He joined Bristol in 1961 from Bristol Saracens, where he was initially a wing forward. An outside half with Somerset Colts, the 18 year old Collins was quickly promoted to the first XV after a few games for the United but was selected on the wing where his speed and power were put to greater use.
Collins immediately made an impact. Playing against recognised international players such as Tony O'Reilly and John Young, an international sprinter, Collins was undaunted. He attacked players such as these with the same disregard as those of lesser fame and regularly came out on top. Tough and fearless, he possessed the ability to hit top speed almost instantaneously and had a good swerve and powerful hand-off. Collins was an aggressive tackler, highly committed and defensively sound. He was extremely popular with supporters and fellow players.
Collins was close to playing for England. Once a carded replacement on standby, he excelled himself in the South West's victory over England in the 1967 pre-Canadian tour trials but his talents went unrecognised in London. It wasn't for the want of trying. He terrorised countless wings higher in the RFU's pecking order than himself but the apparent disregard for Bristol players other than John Pullin for international selection meant Collins, once recognised as "discovery of the season", remained uncapped.
He played in several of the west country selections against the touring teams, scoring a try against the 1963 All Blacks and contributing to the famous Western Counties victory over Australia in 1967. He also represented the Irish Wolfhounds and donned the Gloucestershire jersey on 46 occasions, at one time captaining the side.
His last game for Bristol was against Liverpool in May 1971. His team-mates kindly removed his clothes from the changing room ensuring Collins wouldn't forget his last game for the club. He joined Rosslyn Park and played for them for two seasons during which he represented Somerset.
Mike Collins, who once worked as a shipping broker, changed career and joined Courage as a management trainee. Having achieved success on the rugby field he then conquered the business world, eventually becoming Divisional Managing Director for the brewing company.