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|Full name||Colchester United Football Club|
|Ground||Colchester Community Stadium
|2011–12||League One, 10th|
Colchester United Football Club is an English football club based in Colchester. The club was formed in 1937, and briefly shared their old Layer Road home with now defunct side Colchester Town who had previously used the ground from 1910.
Colchester United are perhaps most famous for beating Don Revie's Leeds United 3–2 in the 5th round of the FA Cup in 1971. Their highest ever league finish was achieved in 2006–07, when they ended the season in 10th place in the Championship, above East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town, Norwich City and also Essex rivals Southend United while having the division's lowest attendance.
Colchester Town were the town's main club in the early 20th century and were the original tenants of Layer Road. In 1935 they joined the Eastern Counties League, but their poor performances in the league convinced supporters that the club should turn professional like nearby Ipswich Town. Officials at the club were against the idea, resulting in a new professional club, Colchester United, being formed in March 1937, which would also play at Layer Road. United joined the Southern League and crowds at Town matches quickly dwindled. In December United formed a reserve team, signing many Town players. As a result of this and financial problems (the club were £300 in debt), Town folded in the same month.
In the 1947–48 season Colchester, then in the Southern League, produced one of the most notable FA Cup runs by a non-league side, beating fellow-non-league side Banbury Spencer in the First Round before beating league clubs Wrexham, Huddersfield and Bradford Park Avenue. They finally fell to Blackpool in the fifth round.
United went from strength to strength, and they were elected to the Football League in 1950. They spent most of the 50s, 60s and 70s either in the third or fourth tiers before spending the 80s in the fourth tier. However the club got into financial problems towards the end of the 80s and lost their league status for two seasons from relegation in 1990 until 1992, when they won a non-league double by collecting the Conference title and the FA Trophy. They then finished around mid table in the fourth tier for the next 3 seasons before reaching the play-offs in 1995–96 but losing in the semis to Plymouth Argyle.
In the 1996–97 season Colchester were runners up in the Football League Trophy and just missed out on the play-offs by 1 point. But in 1997–98, they got themselves promoted by winning the play-offs to the third tier. They then consolidated their position in that division before achieving promotion in 2005–06 to the second tier of English football, the Championship, by finishing in second place in League One, just behind local rivals Southend United. They also had a good FA Cup run that season before losing in the 5th round to Chelsea despite taking the lead at Stamford Bridge. After a slow start to the 2006–07 season, they soon entered the higher reaches of the division and there was even talk of a challenge for promotion to the Premier League, before they finished tenth in the final table, their highest ever placing. The following season Colchester finished bottom of the Championship with 38 points and were relegated back to League One, where they currently compete.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor (home)||Shirt sponsor (away)|
|1980–1982||Royal London Insurance|
|1982–1986||Le Coq Sportif|
|1999–2000||East Anglian Daily Times||Ashby's Tea & Coffee|
|2000–2002||Strike Force||JobServe||Ridley's Brewery|
|2010–2012||Reader Offers Limited|
Colchester United play in the same blue and white stripes as Colchester Town originally did, and chose the nickname "The U's" to distinguish themselves from the older club, who had been known as "The Oystermen", before they folded. The town crest was worn on United kits for the first time in the 1947–48 season, which dates back to a royal charter granted by Henry V in 1413.
The traditional shirts were changed to the newly fashionable candy stripes: white on blue in 1967 and blue on white in 1968. In 1969, when stripes of any kind were out of favour, the club adopted a strip modelled on that worn by Chelsea, with blue shirts and shorts trimmed in white together with white socks. The crest was also modified the following season and now featured a white background.
For the 1972–73 season the management decided to relaunch the club with a new badge (a Roman eagle standard), new nickname (The Eagles) and an all-white kit worn with red boots. The season was a disaster – the manager resigned and Colchester had to apply for re-election. Traditional stripes were reinstated in 1973 (without a crest of any kind) worn with blue shorts, and in 1979, the club adopted the popular striped Adidas shirt of the period, on which the stripes on the body echoed the trademarked three-stripe trim. These shirts were adorned with a simple monogramme.
Another version of the roman eagle crest was introduced in 1993 and used for two seasons. The 1994–95 version was white and placed against a blue stripe. In 1995 the crest was modified to place the eagle (now in gold) against a shield in Colchester's traditional stiped motif. This proved more durable and popular than its predecessors and was used until 2004. An amended (and the current) crest was introduced in 2004 with a modernised look..
For the 2012–13 season, the U's marked their 75th anniversary with special kit. The shirt was coloured in the usual blue and white stripes, however it does not have a main sponsorship logo, as the club look to promote local businesses on a game-by-game basis and to reflect on the club's early days without a sponsor.
Colchester United formed in 1937 and took over Layer Road from the recently defunct Colchester Town. That remained their home until 2008. At its closure, the ground had a capacity of 6,340, though it had previously been much higher, with a record attendance of 19,072.
In 2000, Colchester announced plans to move to a new 10,000 capacity all-seater community stadium at Cuckoo Farm, which were given the go-ahead by Colchester Borough Council on November 13, 2006. Construction of the stadium, funded by the club but owned by the local council, started in June 2007, and the stadium opened at the start of the 2008–09 season. Colchester's biggest attendance at the stadium of 10,064 was set at a League One match against Norwich City on 16 January 2010.
Although generally known as the Colchester Community Stadium, and sometimes as Cuckoo Farm, it is officially called, under a ten year sponsorship deal, the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Colchester's main rivalry is with fellow Essex side Southend United, with whom they contest the Essex derby. The competitive head-to-head record is 29 wins to Southend, 25 wins for Colchester and 17 draws.
Colchester United also have a rivalry with Ipswich Town, their geographically closest league opponents, whom they met for the first time in a league fixture for almost half a century in the 2006–07 season. A 1–0 win at home, followed by a 3–2 defeat away for Colchester saw Ipswich take their overall competitive record against Colchester to 10 wins, 4 losses with 4 draws.
By finishing above both Ipswich & Norwich in the 2006–07 season, Colchester United took the "Pride of Anglia" title for the first time.
League One side Wycombe Wanderers are also fierce rivals to Colchester United, dating back to both clubs' latter years in the Conference. Whilst not a local derby, the rivalry goes back to the 1985–86 season, when Wycombe defeated Colchester 2–0 in an FA Cup tie marred by crowd trouble at Loakes Park.
Colchester and Wycombe were also involved in a race for the Conference title throughout the 1991–92 season, during which Colchester defeated Wycombe 2–1 at Adams Park with an injury-time wind-assisted winner from their goalkeeper, Scott Barrett. Another controversial meeting was during the 1998–99 season. Relegation-threatened Wycombe were leading Colchester 2–1 at Adams Park until the sixth minute of stoppage time, when Colchester were awarded, and converted, an equalising penalty. However, due to lack of recent games between the two sides, Colchester United fans consider Ipswich and Southend bigger rivals.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
✝ indicates player who will become out of contract during the current close season.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
A full list of Colchester United seasons can be found here: List of Colchester United F.C. seasons
A full list of Colchester United records and statistics can be found here: List of Colchester United F.C. records and statistics
|Season||Player of the year||Top goalscorer||Most appearances|
|1964–65||Percy Ames||Billy Stark 14||Duncan Forbes 51|
|1965–66||Brian Hall||Reg Stratton 21||Brian Hall 50|
|1966–67||Duncan Forbes||Reg Stratton 24||Duncan Forbes 50|
|1967–68||Derek Trevis||Reg Stratton 11||Duncan Forbes 52|
|1968–69||Brian Hall||Danny Light 14||Brian Hall 50|
|1969–70||Ken Jones||Ken Jones 16||Brian Hall 49|
|1970–71||Ray Crawford||Ray Crawford 31||Brian Gibbs 56|
|1971–72||Micky Cook||Brian Lewis 22||Mick Mahon 49|
|1972–73||Mick Mahon||Mick Mahon 12||Mick Mahon 48|
|1973–74||Ray Harford||Bobby Svarc 26||Ray Harford 48|
|1974–75||John Froggatt||Bobby Svarc 25||Micky Cook 54|
|1975–76||Lindsay Smith||Steve Leslie 7||Mick Packer 48|
|1976–77||Steve Dowman||Colin Garwood 24||Micky Cook 55|
|1977–78||Steve Leslie||Bobby Gough 17||Mike Walker 55|
|1978–79||Steve Wignall||Bobby Gough 22||Mike Walker 55|
|1979–80||Mike Walker||Trevor Lee 18||Steve Leslie 54|
|1980–81||Mike Walker||Kevin Bremner 10||Mike Walker 52|
|1981–82||Kevin Bremner||Ian Allinson 26||Kevin Bremner 56|
|1982–83||Mike Walker||Ian Allinson 26||Ian Allinson 54|
|1983–84||Steve Wignall||Tony Adcock 33||Alec Chamberlain 56|
|1984–85||Alec Chamberlain||Tony Adcock 28||Alec Chamberlain 54|
|1985–86||Roger Osborne||Tony Adcock 16||Alec Chamberlain 51|
|1986–87||Rudi Hedman||Tony Adcock 12||Alec Chamberlain 54|
|1987–88||Colin Hill||Dale Tempest 14||Richard Wilkins 54|
|1988–89||Colin Hill||Mario Walsh 15||Colin Hill 52|
|1989–90||Neale Marmon||Trevor Morgan 12||Scott Daniels 52|
|1990–91||Scott Barrett||Mario Walsh 18||Scott Barrett 51|
|1991–92||Nicky Smith||Roy McDonough 29||Scott Barrett 56|
|1992–93||Paul Roberts||Gary Bennett 10||Paul Roberts 50|
|1993–94||Mark Kinsella||Steve Brown 13||Tony English 49|
|1994–95||Steve Whitton||Steve Whitton 13||Mark Kinsella 50|
|1995–96||Mark Kinsella||Tony Adcock 17||Simon Betts 52|
|1996–97||Chris Fry||Tony Adcock 14||David Greene 55|
|1997–98||Richard Wilkins||Mark Sale 8||Carl Emberson 53|
|1998–99||David Greene||David Gregory 14||David Gregory 48|
|1999–2000||David Greene||Steve McGavin 16||David Gregory 49|
|2000–01||Mick Stockwell||Mick Stockwell 11||Mick Stockwell 52|
|2001–02||Karl Duguid||Scott McGleish 16||Scott McGleish 52|
|2002–03||Simon Brown||Joe Keith 9||Kemal Izzet 48|
|2003–04||Alan White||Scott McGleish 17||Sam Stockley 58|
|2004–05||Pat Baldwin||Craig Fagan 14||Kevin Watson 53|
|2005–06||Wayne Brown||Chris Iwelumo 19||Greg Halford 55|
|2006–07||Jamie Cureton||Jamie Cureton 24||Wayne Brown 48|
|2007–08||Johnnie Jackson||Kevin Lisbie 17||Johnnie Jackson 48|
|2008–09||Dean Hammond||Mark Yeates 13||Mark Yeates 50|
|2009–10||Ben Williams||Kevin Lisbie 13||Magnus Okuonghae 49|
|2010–11||David Perkins||Dave Mooney 14||Kayode Odejayi 50|
|2011–12||Kayode Odejayi||Anthony Wordsworth 13||Brian Wilson 50|
* Season in progress.
The following players have been inducted into Colchester United's Hall of Fame for being one of "...those who have made a difference to the club's history." The whole of the team that beat Leeds United in 1971 are included, and in addition, Peter Wright was awarded the title of "U's Player of the Century".
A list of notable former players can be found here: List of Colchester United F.C. players
|Year inducted||Pos.||Player name||Years with club||Apps.||Goals||Notes|
|2007||DF||Micky Cook||1969–1984||700||24||Club record appearance holder|
|2007||FW||Peter Wright||1951–1964||452||95||Voted 'Player of the Century' in 2000|
|386||149||Club record goalscorer|
|2008||FW||Martyn King||1956–1964||230||140||Club record league goalscorer|
|2009||DF||Bobby Cram||1970–1972||116||4||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||FW||Ray Crawford||1970–1971||56||31||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||DF||Brian Garvey||1970–1972||93||2||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||FW||Brian Gibbs||1968–1972||179||41||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||DF||John Gilchrist||1970–1972||56||2||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||DF||John Kurila||1970–1971||65||4||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||MF||Brian Lewis||1970–1972||59||26||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||FW||Mick Mahon||1970–1973||158||33||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||FW||Dave Simmons||1970–1973||71||19||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|2009||GK||Graham Smith||1969–1971||115||0||Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|267||82||Manager of the team 1991–1994|
|Year Inducted||–||Manager Name||Years with Club||–||–||Notes|
|2007||Dick Graham||1968–1972||Manager of the team that beat Leeds in 1971|
|1937–1939||Ted Davis||128||80||17||31||327||155||+172||62.5%||Colchester United's first ever manager|
|1972||Dennis Mochan||5||0||2||3||2||8||−6||0.0%||Caretaker manager|
|Steve Foley||21||7||5||9||33||34||−1||33.3%||Caretaker manager|
|1994–1995||Dale Roberts||5||1||1||3||5||7||−2||20.0%||Caretaker manager|
|1999–2003||Steve Whitton||181||52||45||84||224||290||−66||28.7%||Includes time as caretaker|
|2006–2008||Geraint Williams||109||33||30||46||150||165||−15||30.3%||Includes time as caretaker|
|2008||Kit Symons||5||2||0||3||8||9||−1||40.0%||Caretaker manager|
|2009||Joe Dunne||4||1||1||2||5||6||−1||25.0%||Caretaker manager|
|2010–||John Ward||102||33||35||34||134||148||–14||32.4%||Current manager|
Board and Directors
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Colchester United F.C.|