The former Norwich City and Crystal Palace player paved the way for other black coaches to start their coaching careers in English football.
Tony Collins, the first black manager in English professional football, has died at the age of 94.
Collins, who was named Rochdale's coach in 1960, became a source of inspiration for other black coaches and led his club to the Football League Cup final just two years after he was named coach.
Prior to coaching, Collins played for Sheffield Wednesday, York City, Watford, Norwich City, Tarquay United and Crystal Palace, and then finished his career at Rochdale.
"Tony was a true pioneer of the sport. He was humble, hospitable, he had tremendous insight and was always generous with his time,"
League Manager's Association chairman Howard Wilkinson said in a statement.
"His passion for football was so evident when you met him and he had some remarkable stories and memories to share.
"Above all, he should be remembered and revered for his achievements on and off the pitch.
"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.
"Our sincere condolences go out to Tony's family and loved ones."