Tony Collins is a British sports and social historian and author specialising in Northern England and rugby football.Collins is a Professor of history and the Director of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University. He also acts as a historical consultant to the Rugby Football League. Collins has been described as rugby league football's "leading historian". He has produced a range of material on the history of sports and the social contexts of events; as well as rugby league, Collins has written about rugby union.Collins has three times been awarded the Lord Aberdare Literary Prize for Sports History book of the year. His books, Rugby’s Great Split, Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain and A Social History of English Rugby Union, winning in 1999, 2007 and 2010 respectively.