During his 27-year tenure as president of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, Peter Collins played a major role in the sport’s growth throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Collins, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame has died. His passing was reported on Saturday on Twitter by Richard Christiano, president of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association. He was 86.
“Sad to report that my friend and mentor, USSF life member and US Soccer Hall of Fame member Peter Collins passed away last night,” Christiano tweeted. “Rest in peace”
Today we send our condolences to the friends and family of U.S. Soccer Life Member and @soccerhof inductee Peter Collins, a longtime volunteer, builder and steward of the beautiful game.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) December 3, 2018
According to his bio on the National Soccer Hall of Fame website, the former LIJSL president was born in Ireland and served in that position from 1977 to 2004. During his tenure, the league expanded from 300 teams to more than 1,200. Inducted into the hall of fame in 1998, he also established joint tournaments between his league and youth leagues in Russia, Ireland and Italy.
In a 2004 interview with Newsday, Collins said he stepped down as LIJSL president because he felt it was time for a change.
“Time to get some new people in there with new ideas,” he said.
According to the Newsday story, Collins came to the United States from Ireland in 1957. He lived in Hicksville and world for the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) as a welder for more than 30 years.