Colchester can share in Hull's success

THREE former Colchester United players graced the Wembley turf on Saturday to help propel Hull City into the Premiership.Defender Wayne Brown, wide-man Richard Garcia and attacker Craig Fagan all saw their careers blossom at Layer Road, and U's fans will bear no grudge against all three sampling the limelight against Bristol City.

Carl Marston

THREE former Colchester United players graced the Wembley turf on Saturday to help propel Hull City into the Premiership.

Defender Wayne Brown, wide-man Richard Garcia and attacker Craig Fagan all saw their careers blossom at Layer Road, and U's fans will bear no grudge against all three sampling the limelight against Bristol City.

Both Brown and Garcia were prime reasons why Phil Parkinson's Colchester side reached the Championship in 2005-06, and why the Essex club enjoyed such a terrific first season at this level (10th position).


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Fagan, meanwhile, who came on as a second-half substitute in Saturday's play-off final, was one of Parkinson's shrewdest signings.

The striker had never even started a game for his first club Birmingham City, before the U's signed him on an initial loan deal in the summer of 2003. He is currently on loan at Hull from Derby County.

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While Colchester are gearing up to life back in League One next season, at their new 10,000 all-seater Community Stadium, it is remarkable how many of their former players have gone on to taste glory elsewhere.

Careers that have stuttered to a halt - like Brown at Watford and Garcia at West Ham - have been rejuvenated with a spell at the U's. It is often been the springboard to success.

While the likes of Greg Halford, Neil Danns, Rowan Vine and Fagan have all played (if only briefly) at the highest level, since leaving Colchester, others like Jamie Cureton, Chris Iwelumo and George Elokobi have become stalwarts in the Championship.

The Colchester connection

WAYNE BROWN:

First signed for U's: February 17, 2004, on a free transfer (although two appearances on loan in 1997) U's career: 159 appearances (142 league), 5 goals

Highlight: played every minute of every game in the U's promotion season of 2005-06, the only outfield player in the Championship to achieve this feat U's departure: joined Hull City on July 14, 2007, for £450,000

RICHARD GARCIA

First signed for the U's: September 3, 2004 for an undisclosed fee U's career: 99 games (82 league), 21 goals

Highlight: scored the U's first ever goal in the Championship in the

2-1 defeat at Birmingham. Also delivered the cross which Ricardo Carvalho diverted into his own net (to put the U's 1-0 up) in the 3-1 defeat at Chelsea in the FA Cup U's departure: joined Hull City on a free transfer (Bosman ruling) on July 2, 2007

CRAIG FAGAN

First signed for the U's: initially on loan on August 5, 2003 U's career: 82 games (63 league), 24 goals

Highlight: Scored the second goal in the U's FA Cup victory at Hull

(2-0) in January, 2005, although ironically that alerted the Tigers to his talent. When the U's returned to the KC Stadium for a league game a month later, he was left out of the team, having signed for Hull on the morning of the match U's departure: joined Hull City on February 28, 2005, for an undisclosed fee believed to be £125,000

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