Sheffield United’s oldest surviving player celebrates 98th birthday

Colin celebrates 98 years
Colin celebrates 98 years

When Colin Collindridge turned 98 recently, a football-themed birthday cake seemed entirely appropriate.

The pensioner, who describes himself as a Blade through-and-through, is Sheffield United’s oldest surviving player, originally signing for the team in December 1938.

Colin Collindridge celebrates 98th birthday

Colin Collindridge celebrates 98th birthday

Colin went on to make 232 appearances for the Blades, in a career that lost most of its years to the war. He eventually left United to join Nottingham Forest in 1950.

He played in the team that was promoted in 1938/39 alongside people such as Jock Dodds and Jimmy Hagan and was also in the team that topped Division 1 when the League was abandoned due to the outbreak of the second world war.

“I was stationed with the RAF during the war,” Colin told The Star a few years ago.

“Our job was putting the bombs on Lancasters at Syerston and there was one instance, when I was sat on the plane deck with my pal at the time, where he noticed a great 4,000 pounder had dropped off.

“I’ve never been so frightened. Fortunately it didn’t explode because, if it had, then I don’t suppose I’d be talking about it now.”
Colin was also a Wartime Football League North winner with Sheffield United club and scored a brace against Sheffield Wednesday in the only Sheffield derby played off the mainland, when the clubs met on the Isle of Man in an exhibition game in 1948.

“Sheffield was a very tough place then,” Colin added, referring to his football days.

“But Sheffielders were good, honest people. We could all look after ourselves and people used to tell me that I was fair to my opponents. You didn’t swear in public but what they didn’t notice was me giving them a kick when no one was watching.

“I’ve never said a bad word about Sheffield United and I never will. It’s a great place full of great people and I’m sure everyone realises that. Just how special it is.”