£2 for U's loos in wholesale auction

GALLERY Seventy-one years of footballing memories went under the hammer with an auction of everything from portable loos to the stadium clock at Colchester United's former ground.

Annie Davidson

SEVENTY-one years of footballing memories went under the hammer with an auction of everything from portable loos to the stadium clock at Colchester United's former ground.

The last goodbye at Layer Road yesterday saw around 300 people having a final visit to the ground to bid for hundreds of items not needed at the club's new home at Cuckoo Farm.

Bidding continued all day as U's fans fought to keep a lasting memorial to the Layer Road ground which had been home to the team since 1937.


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Some lots were snapped up at bargain prices - such as a row of seven urinals from the men's toilet under the main stand which sold for £2.

But fierce bidding took place for the ground's clock, complete with Colchester United insignia, which drew applause when it finally sold for £1,600.

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Most of the 516 lots were sold, clearing out the Layer Road ground in preparation for it being sold to developers for housing.

Matt Hudson, spokesman for Colchester United, said last night: “Everything has been auctioned in terms of structure, fixtures and fittings.

“We had scrap metal dealers here who took some of the terracing barriers - a lot of people have had a lot of bargains.

“The clock is iconic to the ground and has been here for quite a few years - the bidding went on for ages and there was a round of applause when it finished.

“I think the lady who bought it lives opposite the ground actually.

“There was a little sign from the back of terrace four, which said this way to terrace four. It was about eight inches by four inches but it went for £100 - people have got an emotional attachment to these things.

“Then there was the urinals which I thought another smaller football club might want but they went for £2.”

He added that people had bought old floodlight lamps to use to plant flowers in.

“People bought some of the old turnstiles I think just as decorative features for their gardens and things,” Mr Hudson added.

“Some were better quality or newer than the others but the really ornate ones went for £200.”

He admitted there was a mixture of sadness and excitement as Colchester United moved to its new home at Colchester Community Stadium.

“A new ground has been talked about for something like 35 years so it feels quite historic to be making that move now,” said Mr Hudson.

“I have been here for seven years and Marie Partner has been here for 21 years, she started in the ticket office and is now chief executive so there has been a lot of life here but at the same time there is a feeling like we are moving on and starting something new.”

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