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Colchester United

Colchester United
Full name Colchester United Football Club
Nickname(s) The U's
Founded 1937
Ground Colchester Community Stadium
Ground Capacity 10,084
Chairman Robbie Cowling
Manager Joe Dunne
League League One
2012–13 League One, 20th
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Current season

Colchester United Football Club is a football club in Colchester, England, who plays in League One, the third tier in the English football league system. 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.


Main article: History of Colchester United F.C.

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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1][2]

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 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.

Colours and badge

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor (home) Shirt sponsor (away)
1975–1979 Umbro None
1979–1980 Adidas
1980–1982 Royal London Insurance
1982–1986 Le Coq Sportif
1986–1987 None 0800 Linkline
1987–1988 Olympic Norcross Estates
1988–1990 Spall
1990–1991 Scoreline Holimarine
1991–1992 Ribero Colchester Hippodrome
1992–1993 The Sun
1993–1994 Spall Strovers
1994–1995 SGR Colchester
1995–1996 Vandanel
1996–1997 Goldstar Fabrications
1997–1999 Patrick Guardian Direct
1999–2000 East Anglian Daily Times Ashby's Tea & Coffee
2000–2002 Strike Force JobServe Ridley's Brewery
2002–2004 Tiptree Jam
2004–2005 Admiral ICS Triplex
2005–2006 Easy-Skip
2006–2007 Diadora Smart Energy
2007–2008 Haart
2008–2009 Puma Weston Homes
2009–2010 JobServe
2010–2012 Reader Offers Limited
2012–2013 Various[A] JobServe
2013– Weston Homes

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.[3]

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 did not have a main sponsorship logo, as the club looked to promote local businesses on a game-by-game basis and to reflect on the club's early days without a sponsor.[4]

Kit manufacturers

  • 1975–1979: Umbro
  • 1979–1982: Adidas
  • 1982–1986: Le Coq Sportif
  • 1986–1987: None
  • 1987–1988: Olympic
  • 1988–1990: Spall
  • 1990–1991: Scoreline
  • 1991–1993: Ribero
  • 1993–1995: Spall
  • 1995–1997: Vandanel
  • 1997–2000: Patrick
  • 2000–2004: Strike Force
  • 2004–2006: Admiral
  • 2006–2008: Diadora
  • 2008–present: Puma[5]


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 13 November 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.[6]


Main articles: Essex derby and Pride of Anglia

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.[7]

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.[8]

In the 2009–10 season, a rivalry with Norwich City flared up after Colchester manager Paul Lambert first led the U's to a 7–1 victory at Norwich, and then ten days later defected to the canaries.

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.[9] 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.


As of 26 October 2013[10]

First team

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 England GK Mark Cousins
2 England MF David Wright
3 England DF Ryan Dickson
4 Nigeria DF Magnus Okuonghae
5 England DF Josh Thompson
6 England MF Craig Eastmond
7 England MF Sanchez Watt
9 Republic of Ireland FW Clinton Morrison
11 England FW Freddie Sears
14 England MF Andrew Bond
15 Jamaica MF Marcus Bean
16 England MF Jeffrey Monakana (on loan from Preston North End)
No. Position Player
17 England FW Jabo Ibehre
18 England DF Tom Eastman
20 England DF Brian Wilson (captain)
21 England MF Gavin Massey
22 England MF Alex Gilbey
27 England DF Luke Garbutt (on loan from Everton)
30 England MF Drey Wright
37 England MF Karl Duguid
38 England FW Elliot Lee (on loan from West Ham United)
39 Republic of Ireland DF Cian Bolger (on loan from Bolton Wanderers)
44 England GK Sam Walker (on loan from Chelsea)

Development Squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
12 England MF Jordan Sanderson
23 England MF Tosin Olufemi
24 England MF Ryan Melaugh
25 England MF Dominic Vose
26 Wales DF Mason Spence
28 Wales FW Jack Simmons
29 England GK Shaun Phillips
31 England MF Conor Hubble
No. Position Player
32 England MF Tom Lapslie
33 England DF Billy Roast
34 Nigeria FW Nnamdi Nwachuku
35 Republic of Ireland DF Michael O'Donoghue
40 England MF Sammie Szmodics
41 England FW Macauley Bonne
England DF Frankie Kent
England MF Jack Curtis

On loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
19 Nigeria FW Freddie Ladapo (on loan at Nuneaton Town)

Youth Team

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
GK James Bransgrove
GK Ron Carroll
DF Marley Andrews
DF Conor Clarke
DF Charlie Gardner
DF Frankie Kent
DF Michael O'Donoghue
DF Callum Rogers
DF Harry Seal
No. Position Player
MF Jack Curtis
MF Callum Harrison
MF Tom Lapslie
MF Tom Monk
MF Sammie Szmodics
FW Joel Atkin
FW Macauley Bonne
FW Tyler Brampton
FW Paul Blackett




League honours

Cup honours

Reserves honours

Player awards

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[12] Top goalscorer Most appearances
1964–65 England Percy Ames Scotland Billy Stark 14 Scotland Duncan Forbes 51
1965–66 England Brian Hall England Reg Stratton 21 England Brian Hall 50
1966–67 Scotland Duncan Forbes England Reg Stratton 24 Scotland Duncan Forbes 50
1967–68 England Derek Trevis England Reg Stratton 11 Scotland Duncan Forbes 52
1968–69 England Brian Hall England Danny Light 14 England Brian Hall 50
1969–70 England Ken Jones England Ken Jones 16 England Brian Hall 49
1970–71 England Ray Crawford England Ray Crawford 31 England Brian Gibbs 56
1971–72 England Micky Cook England Brian Lewis 22 England Mick Mahon 49
1972–73 England Mick Mahon England Mick Mahon 12 England Mick Mahon 48
1973–74 England Ray Harford England Bobby Svarc 26 England Ray Harford 48
1974–75 England John Froggatt England Bobby Svarc 25 England Micky Cook 54
1975–76 England Lindsay Smith England Steve Leslie 7 England Mick Packer 48
1976–77 England Steve Dowman England Colin Garwood 24 England Micky Cook 55
1977–78 England Steve Leslie England Bobby Gough 17 Wales Mike Walker 55
1978–79 England Steve Wignall England Bobby Gough 22 Wales Mike Walker 55
1979–80 Wales Mike Walker England Trevor Lee 18 England Steve Leslie 54
1980–81 Wales Mike Walker Scotland Kevin Bremner 10 Wales Mike Walker 52
1981–82 Scotland Kevin Bremner England Ian Allinson 26 Scotland Kevin Bremner 56
1982–83 Wales Mike Walker England Ian Allinson 26 England Ian Allinson 54
1983–84 England Steve Wignall England Tony Adcock 33 England Alec Chamberlain 56
1984–85 England Alec Chamberlain England Tony Adcock 28 England Alec Chamberlain 54
1985–86 England Roger Osborne England Tony Adcock 16 England Alec Chamberlain 51
1986–87 England Rudi Hedman England Tony Adcock 12 England Alec Chamberlain 54
1987–88 Northern Ireland Colin Hill England Dale Tempest 14 England Richard Wilkins 54
1988–89 Northern Ireland Colin Hill England Mario Walsh 15 Northern Ireland Colin Hill 52
1989–90 England Neale Marmon England Trevor Morgan 12 England Scott Daniels 52
1990–91 England Scott Barrett England Mario Walsh 18 England Scott Barrett 51
1991–92 England Nicky Smith England Roy McDonough 29 England Scott Barrett 56
1992–93 England Paul Roberts England Gary Bennett 10 England Paul Roberts 50
1993–94 Republic of Ireland Mark Kinsella England Steve Brown 13 England Tony English 49
1994–95 England Steve Whitton England Steve Whitton 13 England Mark Kinsella 50
1995–96 Republic of Ireland Mark Kinsella England Tony Adcock 17 England Simon Betts 52
1996–97 Wales Chris Fry England Tony Adcock 14 Republic of Ireland David Greene 55
1997–98 England Richard Wilkins England Mark Sale 8 England Carl Emberson 53
1998–99 Republic of Ireland David Greene England David Gregory 14 England David Gregory 48
1999–2000 Republic of Ireland David Greene England Steve McGavin 16 England David Gregory 49
2000–01 England Mick Stockwell England Mick Stockwell 11 England Mick Stockwell 52
2001–02 England Karl Duguid England Scott McGleish 16 England Scott McGleish 52
2002–03 England Simon Brown England Joe Keith 9 England Kemal Izzet 48
2003–04 England Alan White England Scott McGleish 17 England Sam Stockley 58
2004–05 England Pat Baldwin England Craig Fagan 14 England Kevin Watson 53
2005–06 England Wayne Brown Scotland Chris Iwelumo 19 England Greg Halford 55
2006–07 England Jamie Cureton England Jamie Cureton 24 England Wayne Brown 48
2007–08 England Johnnie Jackson Jamaica Kevin Lisbie 17 England Johnnie Jackson 48
2008–09 England Dean Hammond Republic of Ireland Mark Yeates 13 Republic of Ireland Mark Yeates 50
2009–10 England Ben Williams Jamaica Kevin Lisbie 13 Nigeria Magnus Okuonghae 49
2010–11 England David Perkins Republic of Ireland Dave Mooney 14 Nigeria Kayode Odejayi 50
2011–12 Nigeria Kayode Odejayi England Anthony Wordsworth 13 England Brian Wilson 50
2012–13 England Jabo Ibehre England Freddie Sears 8 Nigeria Magnus Okuonghae 46


Club records


Player records

Notable former players

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."[14][15] The whole of the team that beat Leeds United in 1971 are included,[16] and in addition, Peter Wright was awarded the title of "U's Player of the Century".[17]

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 England Micky Cook 1969–1984 700 24 Club record appearance holder
2007 DF England Tony English 1985–1996 515 58
2007 DF England Brian Hall 1965–1972 364 36
2007 MF Republic of Ireland Mark Kinsella 1989–1996 281 42
2007 FW England Peter Wright 1951–1964 452 95 Voted 'Player of the Century' in 2000
2008 FW England Tony Adcock 1981–1987
386 149 Club record goalscorer
2008 FW England Bobby Hunt 1960–1964 162 90
2008 FW England Vic Keeble 1947–1952 129 84
2008 FW England Martyn King 1956–1964 230 140 Club record league goalscorer
2008 DF England Reg Stewart 1949–1957 317 2
2009 DF England Bobby Cram 1970–1972 116 4 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 FW England Ray Crawford 1970–1971 56 31 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 DF England Brian Garvey 1970–1972 93 2 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 FW England Brian Gibbs 1968–1972 179 41 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 DF Scotland John Gilchrist 1970–1972 56 2 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 DF Scotland John Kurila 1970–1971 65 4 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 MF England Brian Lewis 1970–1972 59 26 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 FW England Mick Mahon 1970–1973 158 33 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 FW England Dave Simmons 1970–1973 71 19 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2009 GK England Graham Smith 1969–1971 115 0 Member of the team that beat Leeds in 1971
2010 GK England Percy Ames 1955–1965 422 0
2010 DF England Mick Packer 1973–1983 393 22
2010 GK Wales Mike Walker 1973–1983 524 0
2011 FW England Bob Curry 1946–1951 206 105
2011 MF England Kemal Izzet 2001– 423 21
2012 FW England Roy McDonough 1981–1983
267 82 Manager of the team 1991–1994
2013 MF England David Gregory 1996–2002 259 28
2013 MF England Steve Leslie 1971–1984 503 46
Year Inducted Manager Name Years with Club Notes
2007 England Dick Graham 1968–1972 Manager of the team that beat Leeds in 1971


Main article: List of Colchester United F.C. managers

The below list indicates Colchester United managers since 1937.[18][19]

Period Name P W D L GF GA GD Win % Notes
1937–1939 England Ted Davis 127 79 17 31 325 154 +171 62.2% Colchester United's first ever manager
1945–1946 England Syd Fieldus 31 11 7 13 51 70 −19 35.48%
1946–1948 England Ted Fenton 88 48 17 23 214 135 +79 54.55%
1948–1953 England Jimmy Allen 249 108 59 82 433 380 +53 43.37%
1953–1955 England Jack Butler 77 16 19 42 85 138 −53 20.78%
1955–1963 England Benny Fenton 423 165 105 153 734 730 +4 39.01%
1963–1968 England Neil Franklin 234 72 62 100 313 383 −70 30.77%
1968–1972 England Dick Graham 216 92 52 72 322 288 +34 42.59%
1972 Scotland Dennis Mochan 5 0 2 3 2 8 −6 0.0% Caretaker manager
1972–1975 England Jim Smith 140 55 36 49 198 167 +31 39.29%
1975–1982 Scotland Bobby Roberts 375 144 109 122 504 451 +53 38.4%
1982–1983 Northern Ireland Allan Hunter 36 17 7 12 51 39 +12 47.22%
1983–1986 Wales Cyril Lea 173 71 46 56 294 243 +51 41.04%
1986–1987 Wales Mike Walker 83 37 16 30 120 102 +18 44.58%
1987–1988 England Roger Brown 48 16 12 20 46 68 −22 33.33%
England Steve Foley 21 7 5 9 33 34 −1 33.33% Caretaker manager
1989 Scotland Jock Wallace 52 12 16 24 63 87 −24 23.08%
1990 England Mick Mills 25 8 3 14 27 37 −10 32.0%
1990–1991 England Ian Atkins 51 30 11 10 80 46 +34 58.82%
1991–1994 England Roy McDonough 155 69 34 52 271 226 +45 44.52%
1994 Scotland George Burley 26 12 6 8 41 38 +3 46.15%
1994–1995 England Dale Roberts 5 1 1 3 5 7 −2 20.0% Caretaker manager
1995–1999 England Steve Wignall 218 81 66 71 289 283 +6 37.16%
1999 England Mick Wadsworth 24 7 7 10 28 41 −13 29.17%
1999–2003 England Steve Whitton 181 52 46 83 224 288 −64 28.73% Includes time as caretaker
2003–2006 England Phil Parkinson 187 79 54 55 256 203 +53 42.25%
2006–2008 Wales Geraint Williams 109 32 30 47 149 166 −17 29.36% Includes time as caretaker
2008 Wales Kit Symons 5 2 0 3 8 9 −1 40.0% Caretaker manager
2008–2009 Scotland Paul Lambert 42 19 7 16 55 43 +12 45.24%
2009–2010 England Aidy Boothroyd 44 19 12 13 56 52 +4 43.18%
2010– 2012 England John Ward 111 33 39 39 139 163 −24 29.73%
Republic of Ireland Joe Dunne 44 15 6 23 49 68 −19 34.09% Includes time as caretaker

Club officials

Board and directors[20]

  • Chairman – Robbie Cowling
  • Vice chairman – Richard Cowling
  • Directors – John Cowling, Kevin Bull
  • Life president – P.J. Heard

Management team

  • Manager – Joe Dunne
  • Assistant manager – Mark Kinsella
  • Sports scientist – David Carolan
  • First team physio – Tony Flynn
  • Head of Coaching – Sean Thacker
  • Player-Coach – Karl Duguid [21]
  • Professional Development Coaches – John McGreal, Wayne Brown
  • Head of youth – Tony Humes
  • Development coach – Richard Hall
  • Youth development coaches – Steve Ball, Matthew Redgrave
  • Goalkeeper coach – Ademola Bankole
  • Performance anaylst – Jonathan Duckett
  • Senior Academy Physio – Joe Badham


A. ^ : As part of the club's 75th anniversary, for the 2012–13 season, shirt sponsorship was provided by local businesses on a game-by-game basis.

See also


External links

  • Official website
  • Colchester United Community Sports Trust
  • Colchester United at the Football Club History Database
  • Colchester United Reserves at the Football Club History Database
  • Colchester United "A" at the Football Club History Database
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