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Neal Collins

NEAL COLLINS is a British sport journalist currently based in South Africa. He makes regular appearances as a football and sports analyst on eTV's Sunrise and eNews and is a regular on radio stations as diverse as Jacaranda and MetroFM.

Born in Plymouth (01/03/1961) but raised in Lee on Solent, Hampshire, Collins spent his formative years in South Africa, moving with his father Robert Glynn and mother Dilys Mary in 1970.

After winning a series of essay awards at Lyttelton Manor High School in Centurion, Collins won a scholarship to and then graduated from Rhodes University, Grahamstown with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. He also majored in sociology and worked during his vacations at the Rand Daily Mail, a liberal South African paper now sadly closed.

Collins played football for Durban City, South Africa's double league champions in 1981 and 1982 but never graduated beyond the reserve team after being coached by current Fulham manager Roy Hodgson at his junior club, Berea Park in Pretoria. He played cricket for Villagers, a first grade club in Pretoria.

Though chiefly a sports journalist, Collins frequently wrote articles which upset the Apartheid Government in the early 1980s while working for the Natal Mercury and Daily News newspapers in Durban and, when called up for National Service  despite his English passport in 1985, he returned to England.

After a year on the Buckinghamshire Advertiser when he was commended in the Sports Council's annual awards, he joined the Today newspaper launched by Eddie Shah in 1986. In 1990 he moved to the Sunday Mirror as Assistant Sports Editor under Bob Harris. He joined the Daily Mail as Assistant Sports Editor in 2000 after attending the Sydney Olympics for the Mirror Group.

Collins then joined the Sunday People in 2002, covering rugby and cricket as well as performing the role of Sports News Editor. He followed the build-up and eventual triumph of Sir Clive Woodward's England team in Sydney in 2003. He joined the Evening Standard in 2005 and was appointed London Lite Sports Editor in 2006.

Since moving to South Africa too look after his elderly father in Centurion, Collins has established a major following among football fans with his blog and media appearances, with over 35,000 hits recorded on www.neal-collins.blogspot.com and four-figure followings on Facebook and Twitter (@nealcol).

Neal lives on the beautiful Centurion Golf Estate with his partner Juli Hopf and her children Matthew (6) and Morgan (8) while enjoying visits from his twins Laura and Kriss (23). He remains an avid Arsenal fan after naming his first dog Charlie George in 1972. Also you might be interested in: Who’s who in UK Chess Computer Retailing?