Scarborough-born Appleton began his footballing career at his hometown club before going onto enjoy a golden playing association with Leicester City.
He was captain of the Foxes' famous 1963 ‘Ice Kings’ side and appeared in two FA Cup finals and two League Cup finals during his 12-year spell at Filbert Street between 1954 and 1966 - playing 277 times for the East Midlands outfit.
He captained the club to their first major honour in winning the League Cup final in 1964, having been part of their promotion-winning side in 1957.
After leaving Leicester, Appleton later played for Charlton Athletic and was player-manager at Barrow before returning to Scarborough, initially as player-boss, in 1969, where he led the club to a record three FA Trophy wins at Wembley in a long and successful spell with the club throughout the Seventies.
In the following decade, he had two managerial stints with Hull, with the club promoted under his watch from the old Fourth Division in 1982-83 and going within a goal of promotion to the Second Division in the following campaign, when the Tigers agonisingly lost out to Sheffield United.
Appleton left to join Swansea City following the conclusion of that 1983-84 campaign and would later manage Exeter City before returning to East Yorkshire for a brief second stint in charge at Boothferry Park with Hull at the end of the Eighties.
He would also manage in non-league circles at Bridlington Town.
Speaking on Scarborough Athletic's website about Appleton - an honorary member of the club, chairman Trevor Bull said: "We would like to thank Colin for everything he did for Scarborough FC, Scarborough Athletic and football in the town as a whole.
"He will be very sadly missed, our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time."