Colchester: Tributes to CUFC stalwart Peter Wright

FORMER Colchester United stalwart Peter Wright, renowned as one of the greatest players ever to don a U’s shirt, has died at the age of 78, following a long illness.

Wright, who is fourth in the U’s all-time appearance makers list, signed for the Essex club as a part-time professional in November, 1951.

The winger made his debut the following year (against Northampton on March 22, 1952), and stayed at his beloved U’s for 13 seasons, making his final appearance against Shrewsbury Town in April, 1964.

Ironically, Shrewsbury are the U’s opponents this Saturday.

Wright scored 96 goals in all competitions for the U’s, and actually held the club record for the most league appearances (426) until Micky Cook overhauled him in the 1980s.

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Only Cook (613), Mike Walker (451) and Steve Leslie (432) have played more league games than Wright for the U’s.

Wright’s achievements were all the more remarkable, when considered that he continued to work at the local Paxman’s Diesel factory as a draughtsman during his loan association with the U’s.

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Furthermore, he also had to cope with poor eyesight, having to play with contact lenses.

Born in Colchester, in 1934, and a keen supporter of the U’s both before and after his playing days, Wright also had the satisfaction of seeing his son Steve Wright play 117 league games for the Essex club between 1978 and 1982, as a defender.

His younger son, Clayton, and also his grandson, Jamie, also played for the U’s at reserves and youth team level respectively.

In his later years, Wright played a key role in the club’s Former Players Association. He was instrumental in its formation, following the club’s move from Layer Road to the Weston Homes Community Stadium in 2008, and was also its chairman.

Amongst other interests, Wright was also heavily involved with the Marconi Club and also the bowls club in Mersea.

A club statement from Colchester United, issued yesterday, said; “The U’s have lost a great man.”

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