Baldwin stays with U's

PAT Baldwin will still be at Colchester United next season.

Carl Marston

PAT Baldwin will still be at Colchester United next season.

The U's influential centre-half has been mulling over the offer of a new deal for several weeks, but it was always his intention to stay with the Essex club.

And Baldwin revealed last night that he will put pen to paper, probably later this week, after a few minute details are resolved.

His old contract expired this summer, which led to speculation that the 26-year-old Londoner might move on. But he was the U's No. 1 choice centre-half last season, and manager Paul Lambert was always keen to keep him at the Community Stadium.

Since his arrival on a free transfer from Chelsea seven years ago, Baldwin has made 215 first team appearances for the U's. He is the second longest serving player, behind midfielder Kem Izzet.

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“It's not quite official yet, but I will be playing for Colchester United next season,” confirmed Baldwin.

“That's been my intention for weeks now, and I'm 99% certain to sign in the next few days. I'm really looking forward to the start of pre-season and beginning all over again.”

The U's first team squad reassemble for the start of pre-season training tomorrow, and Baldwin is already in good shape after completing a Three Peaks Challenge last weekend.

The former Chelsea trainee was in a group of 12 that conquered the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, in aid of the “Teenage Cancer Trust” charity. They climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.

“We all completed the challenge, though some found it more difficult than others, because there was quite a big difference in fitness levels within the group,” explained Baldwin.

“But we had gorgeous weather and I didn't end up spraining my ankle or anything like that. I've already raised �800 and a lot more should be coming in.”

The “Teenage Cancer Trust” is a charity dear to the hearts of Colchester United, following the death of 14-year-old supporter Emily Begg from leukaemia in November, 2006.

Many fund-raising events have since been staged on behalf of the Trust, including the players famously shaving their heads (shortly after she lost her battle with the illness), the recording of a single, and a bike ride.

Anyone wishing to pledge money to this good cause, should visit the website

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