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Colchester United
Colchester badge.png
Full name Colchester United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Us
Founded 1937
Ground Colchester Community Stadium
(Capacity: 10,064)
Owner Robbie Cowling
Manager Aidy Boothroyd
League League One
2008–09 League One, 12th
Home colours
Away colours

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 while having the division's lowest attendance.

Colchester United Ladies are a very successful part of the club, having won promotion to the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division in 2006–07.



Colchester Town, nicknamed 'The Oystermen', were the original local side, established in 1867 and playing at Layer Road from 1909 until 1937, when they were dissolved. The stadium was originally owned by the army, who still have a strong presence in the town, until it was purchased by the club in 1919. Shortly before Town folded, Colchester United was set up. The owners had intended to run both teams, one professional and one amateur, under the same umbrella but the Essex County FA ruled that both teams could not be run under one set of rules, and so Town were wound down.

In the 1947-48 season Colchester, then in the Southern League, produced one of the most notable F.A. 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 Football 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. 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. After a poor start to the season, they went on to finish 12th in that league in 2008–09.


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, where they lost 5-0.

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.[1]


Notable persons known to be Colchester United fans include Steve Lamacq,[2] Bob Russell MP[3], England opening batsman Alastair Cook and the bands Absent Kid[4] and Special Duties.[5]



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, 23 wins for Colchester and 17 draws.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.


Colchester's record wins were 9–1 against Bradford City in 1961 and Leamington F.C. in 2005. Their record defeat was 0–8 against Leyton Orient in 1988. Their record attendance at Layer Road was 19072 against Reading. Their record attendance at Weston Homes was 10064 against Norwich where they lost 5-0.


As of 3 February 2010.[9]

Current 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
1 England GK Ben Williams
2 Republic of Ireland DF Alan Maybury
3 Wales DF Lee Beevers
4 Nigeria DF Magnus Okuonghae (captain)
6 England DF Paul Reid
7 England FW Ashley Vincent
8 Republic of Ireland MF John-Joe O'Toole
9 England FW Clive Platt
10 England MF Kemal Izzet
12 England GK Mark Cousins
14 England MF David Fox
15 Nigeria FW Kayode Odejayi
16 England FW Ian Henderson
18 England FW Steven Gillespie
No. Position Player
20 Jamaica FW Kevin Lisbie (on loan from Ipswich Town)
21 England DF Danny Batth (on loan from Wolves)
22 England MF Anthony Wordsworth
23 England DF Marc Tierney
25 England DF John White
26 England MF David Prutton
28 England DF Matt Heath
30 Norway DF Morten Knudsen
31 England DF Phil Ifil
32 England MF Sam Corcoran
33 England FW Russell Malton
34 Wales DF Thomas Bender
35 England FW Craig Arnott

Out 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
5 England DF Pat Baldwin (on loan to Southend United)
11 England MF Simon Hackney (on loan to Morecambe)
17 England MF David Perkins (on loan to Stockport)
19 France FW Joël Thomas (on loan to Hamilton)
No. Position Player
27 England DF Matthew Lockwood (on loan to Barnet)
29 England FW Scott Vernon (on loan to Southend United)
39 England MF Medy Elito (on loan to Cheltenham Town)

Under 18's

As of 2009-10 Season.[10]

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
Republic of Ireland GK Shane Cusack
Northern Ireland GK Andrew Dickey
England DF Trevor Ajim
34 Wales DF Thomas Bender
Poland DF Jonathan Glowacki (captain)
England DF Bradley Hamilton
England DF Shane Stamp
England MF Jordan Lartey
No. Position Player
Northern Ireland MF Conor McCloskey
England MF Alex O'Leary
England MF Louis O'Sullivan
England MF Jordan Sanderson
35 England FW Craig Arnott
England FW Jordan Pavett
Republic of Ireland FW Michael Rafter

Club officials

Board and Directors

  • Chairman – Robbie Cowling
  • Vice Chairman – Richard Cowling
  • Directors – John Cowling, Peter Powell, Gary White
  • Associate Directors – John Worsp, Terry Sutton
  • Life President – P.J. Heard

Management Team

  • Manager – Aidy Boothroyd
  • Assistant Manager – John Ward
  • Sports Scientist – David Carolan
  • First Team Physio – Tony Flynn
  • Head of Youth – Tony Humes
  • First Team Coach – Joe Dunne
  • Goalkeeper Coach – Ademola Bankole
  • Performance Anaylst – Jonathan Duckett
  • Club Doctor – Dr. Stuart Rudge

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."[11] In addition, Peter Wright was awarded the title of "U's Player of the Century". [12]

The whole of the team that beat Leeds United in 1971 are included:[16]

Also included is former manager, Dick Graham.[17]




  1. ^ Colchester reveal ground sponsors
  2. ^ Lamacq, Steve (30th January, 1999). "Football Fan's Eye View: Colchester United – A swift and defiant single-finger salute". The Independent (United Kingdom: Independent News and Media Limited). 
  3. ^ "MP is match ball sponsor". Colchester Liberal Democrats. Colchester, UK: Prater Raines Ltd. 22nd February, 2007. 
  4. ^ "The Golden Ticket (with program of events for Colchester United v Stoke City match)". Colchester, UK: Colchester United (official website). 24th April, 2008.,,10424~1296864,00.html. "1:30 – 2pm Absent Kid perform on pitch" 
  5. ^ "Colchester United and Punk Bands unite for Emily". London, UK: Teenage Cancer Trust. 6th December, 2006. "Steve Green of Special Duties said: Hearing <the song> played every game at Layer Road still fills me with pride. It was even played at the old Wembley for our Play-Off Final against Torquay." 
  6. ^ All time results between Colchester United and Southend United Soccerbase
  7. ^ All time results between Ipswich Town and Colchester United Soccerbase
  8. ^ Football Rivalries: The Complete Results Bluebird to the Bone
  9. ^ "Profiles". Colchester United F.C..,,10424,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  10. ^ "U18's Player Profiles - 2009/10". Colchester United F.C..,,10424~1898136,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  11. ^ "Hall of Fame – Rules and Info".,,10424~1015971,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Former Players Dinner Announced".,,10424~1586983,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  13. ^ a b "2006/7 Fans' Inductees".,,10424~1018228,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  14. ^ a b c "2006/7 Committee Inductees".,,10424~1022047,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "2007/8 Committee Inductees".,,10424~1321096,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  16. ^ "Leeds Cup Team Remembered". Colchester United F.C..,,10424~1612315,00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  17. ^ "2007/8 Special Inductee".,,10424~1176446,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 

External links

Simple English

Colchester United F.C.
Full nameColchester United Football Club
GroundColchester Community Stadium
(Capacity 10,000)
ChairmanRobbie Cowling
ManagerJohn Ward
LeagueLeague One
2008/09League One, 12th

Colchester United F.C. are an English football team who play in Colchester, Essex. They were started in 1937 and play games at their stadium which is called Colchester Community Stadium. They currently play in the Football League One. Their only major honour was in 1998 when they won the English F.A. Cup

League position

2000/01Second Division17th
2001/02Second Division15th
2002/03Second Division12th
2003/04Second Division11th
2004/05League One15th
2005/06League One2nd
2006/07League Championship10th
2007/08League Championship24th
2008/09League One12th

Former position



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