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Former NFL running back Collins dies aged 28

Alex Collins celebrates a touchdown for the Seattle Seahawks
Alex Collins (right) became renowned for celebrating with an Irish jig, which he learned while regularly attending Irish dance classes in his native Florida

Former Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks running back Alex Collins has died aged 28.

Collins was riding a motorcycle when he collided with an SUV in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

He played 25 games for both the Ravens and Seahawks between 2016 and 2021, scoring 19 touchdowns.

“May Alex always be remembered for the light and love he brought to so many people in his life,” the Ravens said.

“Always quick to greet everyone with a smile, he was a genuinely kind person who carried a special joy and passion wherever he went.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said: “Alex was a joy to be around and someone whose light shined brightly.

“I’ll always remember him for being a great team-mate who had an uplifting spirit that impacted everyone he encountered.”

The accident occurred on Sunday at 22:20 local time. According to the police report,external-link the motorcycle collided with the rear passenger side of an SUV as it turned left across the carriageway. The circumstances of the crash are under investigation.

After being a fifth-round draft pick by Seattle in 2016, Collins was released after one season then spent his best two years with Baltimore.

He rushed for 973 yards in 2017 and scored 14 touchdowns over the two seasons, with his Irish jig celebration helping to endear him to fans.

After a year out of the NFL in 2019, he returned to Seattle for two seasons and most recently played for the Memphis Showboats in the United States Football League earlier this year.

“Alex’s infectious smile and classic river dance skills will forever be missed,” said the Seahawks’ executive vice-president/general manager John Schneider.

“Alex would light up a room and was beloved by our entire building. He enjoyed life and attacked it on the football field.”

Collins played college football at Arkansas and is the second former Arkansas and Ravens player to pass away in six weeks after ex-NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett died in an apparent drowning.

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