Colchester United v West Ham United - players who turned out for both clubs
Colchester United and West Ham United may have never met competitively on the pitch, but they are linked by a number of players who have turned out for both clubs in recent years.
The U’s host the Premier League side at the Weston Homes Community Stadium this evening in a pre-season friendly, as they continue to gear up for another League One campaign, with the Hammers likely to field a mix of youth and experience.
While the two clubs have operated at opposite ends of the football pyramid for much of their existences, there are a number of playing links between the two, including two in the current Colchester squad.
Arguably the most prominent player to have played for both teams is perhaps Freddie Sears, who burst onto the scene in 2008 as he scored the winning goal for West Ham in their 2-1 Premier League win over Blackburn.
In total Sears made 58 appearances for West Ham, scoring three goals, before signing for the U’s following a successful loan spell in the summer of 2012.
The England under 19 international went on to become the club’s talisman as his goals, 34 in 98 games in total, played a vital part as Colchester kept afloat in League One.
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The diminutive frontman is now turning out for Col U’s near-neighbours Ipswich Town, following a January move, where he has managed nine goals in 24 outings as the Tractor Boys missed out on promotion in the play-offs.
Just as Sears was starting out at West Ham in 2008, Sheringham was winding down with Colchester the same year.
The 51-time England international racked up club 800-odd appearances during his career as he turned out for clubs including Nottingham Forest, Tottenham and Manchester United, where he was part of the 1999 treble winning team which won the European Cup in dramatic fashion against Bayern Munich in Barcelona.
Colchester inherited the former England international in the twilight of his illustrious career, at the age of 41 no less, after he was released by the Hammers having scored 30 times in three seasons at Upton Park.
He was less prolific while in the Championship with Colchester, scoring just four times in 20 appearances, but he brought an added interest to Layer Road in what was the final season of an impressive career.
Sadly, he couldn’t help Geraint Williams’ side avoid relegation.
Two current U’s started out at West Ham and will take on their boyhood clubs this evening.
George Moncur played once in claret and blue as Sam Allardyce controversially blooded five youngster in what turned out to be a 5-0 FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest in 2013, with Moncur, son of former West Ham and Swindon player John, among the starters.
That was his only appearance for the East End club and, after a loan spell at Colchester in 2014, made the move to north Essex permanent.
Since then he’s made 46 appearances and scored nine goals to become one of the jewels in Tony Humes’ crown.
Moncur is in the squad for tonight’s game.
Jamie Harney moved north during last season and has so far made just one appearance in blue and white, as a late substitute in the 6-0 loss to MK Dons in November.
He’s played for Northern Ireland at all youth levels from under 16 to under 21.
Best of the rest
A number of other players have also turned out for both teams inside the last 10 yearsa, including goalkeeper Jimmy Walker who played 16 games on loan from Upton Park in 2008/09.
Dan Potts, now at Luton, played five games as a loanee over the Christmas period of the 2012/13 season, while Elliot Lee played a game less in October of that season. Blair Turgott, currently at Leyton Orient, also made four appearances for the U’s that season and scored one goal – in the 4-0 Boxing Day win over Stevenage.