Hall of Shame: Colchester United’s red-card debutants
- Credit: Archant
Sean Murray joined a select band of Colchester United players sent off on their debuts, following his injury-time red card at Blackpool on Saturday. U’s correspondent CARL MARSTON recalls some of the ‘bad boys’ of past years
On the face of it, a player sent off on his debut should be a rare occurrence – or so you would think.
But with Colchester United, at least, that is certainly not the case.
Midfielder Sean Murray, recruited from Swindon a week ago, marred his U’s debut at Blackpool on Saturday with a stoppage time red card during the 1-1 draw at Bloomfield Road.
Murray was given his marching orders for a late challenge on Jim McAlister, which left the Blackpool right wing-back with a fractured leg.
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But the 23-year-old is far from being alone, in a U’s debut cut short by a red card.
Here are some of the others.
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1 WILL PACKWOOD
My ‘favourite’ on the list, because Packwood packed a lot into his few days with the U’s!
Signed on loan from Birmingham City, Packwood went straight into the U’s team for the trip to MK Dons on November 29, 2014.
Having endured a torrid first-half, during which he was particularly tormented by front-runner Benik Afobe, the American centre-half was sent off in the 67th minute for a professional foul on Afobe, conceding a penalty in the process.
That led to the Don’s fifth goal in a thumping 6-0 win, and to add to Packwood’s woes, he also picked up a groin injury in making the challenge which prevented him from making another appearance – perhaps a blessing for all concerned?
2 DANIEL PAPPOE
Another short-lived U’s player who I have a ‘fondness’ for recalling, on a point of his hard-luck story during a brief stay at Colchester from three-and-a-half-years ago.
A centre-half, like Packwood, Chelsea loanee Pappoe received his marching orders on his U’s debut at Bradford City on September 14, 2013, during a 2-2 draw, for a reckless challenge on U’s old boy Mark Yeates.
In his post-match press conference, U’s boss Joe Dunne explained: “Daniel is a young lad, only 19, and it was his league debut. He will learn his lesson quickly. There was no need for him to make the tackle because we had won the throw-in anyway.”
Bradford boss Phil Parkinson, the ex-U’s manager, did not mince his words: “Out of nowhere this lad (Pappoe) launched himself in. At the time, it looked as though Yeatsey’s leg had been broken.”
Too make matters worse Pappoe, who was sent off in injury-time, had only just appeared as an 86th minute substitute!
3 CHRISTIAN HYSLOP
This happened in my second season of reporting on the U’s, during Roy McDonough’s era.
Hyslop, signed from neighbours Southend, saw red on his U’s debut in a 1-1 draw at Northampton Town’s old County Ground on February 19, 1994.
His first U’s adventure lasted just seven minutes, during which time he didn’t even touch the ball!
The red mist descended when Hyslop stopped Cameroon winger Efon Elad in his tracks with what looked like a nasty body-check. Referee Terry Lunt deemed it to be a red card offence.
Manager McDonough later revealed: “I told Christian at half-time to not even think about it, and to go home if he wanted to.”
4 STEPHEN HUNT
The ex-Southampton left-back only lasted for 59 seconds, on his U’s debut as a 66th minute substitute for Gavin Johnson during a 2-1 defeat at Chesterfield on August 21, 2004.
Hunt ploughed into striker Tcham N’Toya for a straight red card. N’Toya had already scored two goals.
5 NIGEL CROUCH
The young full-back was sent off on the opening fixture of the 1980-81 season, in a League Cup tie against Gillingham, for lashing out at Steve Bruce – brave or foolhardy?
It was an act of retaliation by Crouch following a late challenge by Manchester United’s future centre-half.
OTHER U’S RED CARD DEBUTANTS
Ian Henderson (v Norwich City, January 16, 2010), Dave Barnett (v York City, August 27, 1988)