Tony Collins, the Football League’s first BAME manager, has died aged 94.
Collins spent seven years in charge of Rochdale, leading them to the 1962 League Cup final, and later worked for Manchester United as chief scout.
Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sent his “deepest condolences”, adding: “His family should be very proud of all he achieved.”
League Managers Association (LMA) chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “Tony was a true pioneer of the sport.”
He continued: “He was known throughout the game for his ability to recognise and nurture talent, a skill which enabled him to have a huge impact on the lives of others.”
After a playing career with Sheffield Wednesday, York City, Watford, Norwich City, Torquay United, Crystal Palace and Rochdale, Collins went into management.
Dale were in the old Division Four – now League Two – throughout his time in charge, but the highlight was their run to the League Cup final, which was then two-leg before switching to Wembley in 1967, before losing 4-0 to Norwich on aggregate.
Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton, a LMA board member, added: “Tony has always been an inspiration to me as I continue alongside my colleagues to campaign to see more diversity in management and coaching across the game. He will be very sorely missed.”