James Collins tore up £50,000 Aston Villa contract an hour after signing it

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Footballers earn more money now than at any other time in the history of the game.

The sport’s highest earners earn in excess of £200,000-a-week. Neymar, the world’s highest-paid player, currently takes home an eye-watering £775,477 every week at Paris Saint-Germain.

There are young players at Premier League clubs who haven’t played a first-team game earning £20,000-a-week. The situation is, in the eyes of many football fans, out of control.

It won’t be much longer before a footballer receives the first £1 million-a-week contract.

However, every now and again you’ll hear a story that reminds you that not all footballers have lost touch with reality when it comes to cold, hard cash.

The Mirror have published a story about the experienced Welsh defender James Collins, who has been on trial with Aston Villa this season after leaving West Ham in the summer.

The 35-year-old started working with Villa under Steve Bruce in a bid to earn a permanent contract with the Championship outfit.

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He then continued to impress Dean Smith, who replace Bruce in October, and played in a friendly against Yeovil to prove his fitness.

Collins subsequently earned himself a short-term deal worth around £10,000-a-week until the end of January - £50,000 over the course of a five-week period.

However, just one hour after putting pen to paper on the deal, Collins injured his calf during a training session.

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Frustrated with himself, Collins matched back inside Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground and physically tore up the contract.

Yep, ripped it up there and then.

The former West Ham defender deserves huge respect for his actions. It’s hard to imagine any other footballer doing the same thing in his position.

The Mirror add that Villa officials are understood to be ‘highly impressed at a rare example of a player refusing to be paid when injured’.

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Smith is still willing to give the selfless Collins another opportunity to earn a contract in the future.

“James has picked up a calf injury and hasn't trained,” the Villa boss told reporters.

“He has a tight calf so there's nothing moving with that.”

Football fans will now be wishing Collins all the best with his recovery.

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