Double signing for U’s as striker Chris Porter and defender Matthew Briggs arrive

Chris Porter (right) celebrates after scoring for Sheffield United.

Chris Porter (right) celebrates after scoring for Sheffield United. - Credit: PA

Colchester United have signed experienced striker Chris Porter and versatile defender Matthew Briggs.

Porter, 31, has signed an 18-month contract after having his contract cancelled by League One rivals Sheffield United. He spent three-and-a-half years with the Blades, scoring 23 times in 118 games, but has not played since November.

The ex-Bury, Oldham, Motherwell and Derby front man scored four times as Nigel Clough’s side reached the FA Cup semi-final last term.

Briggs joins on loan from Championship strugglers Millwall until the end of the season. The 23-year-old, primarily a left-back, became the Premier League’s youngest-ever player in 2007 when he made his Fulham debut aged 16 years and 65 days.

The former England Under-20 international never fully established himself in the Cottagers’ first team squad though and, after brief loan spells with Leyton Orient, Peterborough, Bristol City and Watford, he signed for Millwall on a free transfer last summer.

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He has made 11 starts and one substitute appearances for Ian Holloway’s side this season.

The U’s – joint-bottom of the table – sold leading scorer Freddie Sears to Ipswich Town last week for a fee believed to be around £100,000, signing young striker Jack Marriott (20) on loan from their Suffolk neighbours.

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Cardiff City loanee Rhys Healey (20) led the line in last Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat against Walsall, while Alex Wynter started at left-back. Tony Humes’ other forward options include youngsters Gavin Massey (22), Macauley Bonne (19) and Dion Sembie-Ferris (18).

The Essex side host regional rivals and fellow strugglers Leyton Orient on Saturday.

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