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Saturday, 20 November, 1999, 11:15 GMT
Collins calls it a day for Scots
John Collins (right) denies England at Wembley

Scotland midfielder John Collins has announced that he is retiring from international football.

Collins, 31, who plays for Everton, helped Scotland beat England 1-0 in the second leg of the European playoff at Wembley on Wednesday but missed out on Euro 2000 after a 2-1 aggregate defeat.

After 58 appearances and 12 goals for Scotland, he has decided to move aside to make way for younger talent.

"I don't want to say any more, other than to announce my retirement from the international side," Collins said, "and I just hope people respect my decision."

Scotland manager Craig Brown confirmed Collins' decision to go.

'High note finish'

In newspaper reports on Saturday, Brown says: "We discussed it and he told me his international career couldn't go any higher than beating England at Wembley.

"He was profuse in his thanks for being given the opportunity to play for Scotland but told me he was frightened of going on too long and that he wanted to finish on the highest possible stage."

Collins began his career in 1988 with Hibernian before moving to Celtic where he spent six years.

After playing in Euro 96, he joined Monaco and won the French league title before moving to Everton in July 1998 for 2m.

Collins' finest moment playing for Scotland came in the opening match of the 1998 World Cup finals when he scored a penalty in a 2-1 defeat by Brazil.

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See also:
17 Nov 99 |  Battle of Britain
Timeline: England v Scotland II
18 Nov 99 |  Battle of Britain
Cheers and tears for Scotland
17 Nov 99 |  Battle of Britain
All quiet after Wembley showdown
08 Nov 99 |  Battle of Britain
England claim the prize
18 Nov 99 |  Battle of Britain
We've a long way to go - Keegan
18 Nov 99 |  Battle of Britain
England book Euro 2000 place
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.