James Collins’ 32-year association with Crewe Alexandra is ending later today and the talented coach says that only the opportunity to work at a Premier League club such as the stature of Wolverhampton Wanderers has seen him leave the club he had devoted much of his career too.
Collins will take charge of Wolves’ Under-23 side in the New Year and he says there have been far more ups than downs during his time with his beloved Alex.
James told iFollow the Alex: “I’ve been blessed here, I’ve had far more highs than lows.
“Genuinely, there are not many clubs I would leave here for. I have a love for this club which I will forever treasure.
“The first person I went round to tell was Dario (Gradi). I owed him that. He was terrific as he always is in those situations.
“Steve Holland was a real mentor here for me, to have him as my youth team coach – at the time I just thought every coach was that good! He was terrific and has been ever seen, to see what he’s done since has been brilliant.
“Then working with people like Critch, Terry McPhillips - these are top football people. I thought it was the norm but it isn’t, and I’ll be forever blessed that I rocked up at Crewe at nine years of age and not somewhere else.
“What a chairman John Bowler is! I think the greatest sign of a good chairman, is that he doesn’t think he is above you.
“He speaks to you on a level and supports you. He has all that in abundance, he’s a great guy and he’ll be a big loss to the club when he eventually retires.
“He’s been very supportive towards me, and nobody here has once tried to affect or influence in a negative way what we are doing down there (Reaseheath), they show great faith and there won’t be many better chairman than John Bowler.
He added: “These people, I owe a great debt of gratitude to. Where I am now, it’s great credit to them as much as me.”
Everyone at Crewe wishes James all the very best with his future career.