It is a typically selfless move from the ultimate team man and a cricketer that more than any other has brought the vital ingredients of professionalism, consistency and most of all resilience to this burgeoning England team.
These were all traits that came naturally to Collingwood - a cricketer who got the absolute maximum from his reserves of talent to average over 40 with the bat, score ten test hundreds and become the best fielder in the side and maybe the world.
Collingwood's value to the team was exemplified either by a stunning catch - like the one that removed Ricky Ponting in Perth - or a gritty innings when England were in dire straits such as the trio of back-to-the-wall performances that saved England at Cardiff, Centurion and Cape Town.
It took some time, but Collingwood has now transferred some of this resilience to other members of the team. Ian Bell for example came of age in a long partnership with Collingwood in the aforementioned rearguard at Cape Town and there are others such as Jonathan Trott who can be relied upon to remain unflappable in the face of adversity. So the baton has been passed.
We've written before about the qualities that Colly brought to the England team - see Heroes: Paul Collingwood - so there is no need to go into those again here, but he has been our favourite England player of the last few years.
He may not have the classical strokes of a Bell or a Vaughan, nor the six-hitting ability of a Flintoff or Pietersen, and indeed there were many times his batting could only best be described as ugly, but it was all these things that made us think that Colly represented the fans in the England team. If Colly could wring the absolute maximum from his talent and play 68 Tests and approaching 200 ODIs, why couldn't we?
Collingwood has had a fantastic career. A triple Ashes winner - if we include the 2005 Ashes where he played in the final Test at The Oval and scored the most important 10 you will ever see, captain of the World T20 winners last year and maybe one more triumph to come in the forthcoming World Cup.
Paul Collingwood, every inch one of John Lennon's Working Class Hero(es).