Kinsella tops list
After a month-long search by the EADT to find Colchester United's Top 100 Players, we can today reveal how you voted.U's correspondent Carl Marston takes a look through the charts.
By Carl Marston
After a month-long search by the EADT to find Colchester United's Top 100 Players, we can today reveal how you voted.
U's correspondent Carl Marston takes a look through the charts
IT WAS neck-and-neck for the best part of a month, but Mark Kinsella has fended off a strong challenge from Lomana Lua Lua to win the accolade of Colchester United's greatest player.
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The EADT received more than 1,000 votes from readers, via the newspaper's website and the post, as football fans from across the region sent in their top three choices.
Current stars brushed shoulders with ghosts of the past in a fascinating poll. There were representatives from all eras, beginning with the club's early years as a professional club under Edwin “Ted” Davis in the 1930s, through to Geraint Williams' present-day heroes.
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The reigns of Benny Fenton, Dick Graham, Jim Smith and Bobby Roberts are all recognised in the Top 100, as are the later regimes of Mike Walker, Roy McDonough, Steve Wignall, Steve Whitton and Phil Parkinson.
But it all boiled down to a straight race between Kinsella, the true professional of the early 1990s, and Lua Lua, the darling of Layer Road for two brief but dazzling years between 1998 and 2000.
In the final analysis, midfield gem Kinsella polled 10.6% of the votes, as opposed to front-runner Lua Lua's 9.1%. Current Portsmouth star Lua Lua had actually led the way for the first half of the month.
The race for third spot was just as tight, with two of the U's most loyal servants battling it out. Micky Cook is still the club's record appearance maker, having played 614 league games between 1969 and '84. He went on to play a vital role in the youth team system at Layer Road.
Karl Duguid, meanwhile, is the current skipper, having progressed through the youth ranks to sign professional forms in 1996. The 28-year-old is set to play his 327th league game at Crystal Palace this Saturday.
Reliable right-back Cook, now aged 55, accumulated 6.9% of the votes to take third spot, just ahead of the versatile Duguid, who captured a lot of the younger votes with 6.1%.
The top five is completed by another U's legend, Tony Adcock, who enjoyed two productive spells at Layer Road in the 1980s and the mid-1990s. Goal-poacher Adcock secured 4.2% of the votes.
A fellow Colchester striker of yesteryear, Bobby Svarc, is not far adrift with 3.7% in sixth spot. Lethal marksman Svarc netted 59 goals in just 116 league outings for the U's during Jim Smith's tenure in the early 1970s.
The oldest player in the top 10 is goalkeeper Percy Ames, who was signed from Tottenham in 1955. He went on to make 397 league appearances for the U's, until his departure in 1965.
Ames played most of his football under manager Benny Fenton.
He is the highest-placed keeper in the Top 100, ahead of fellow custodians Mike Walker (16th), Alec Chamberlain (37th), Graham Smith (54th), Scott Barrett (59th), Aidan Davison (62nd), Carl Emberson (77th), Simon Brown (90th) and George Wright (99th).
Former target man and manager Roy McDonough, who masterminded the U's return to the Football League in 1992, after two years in the Conference, is seventh with 3.1% of the votes, followed by two favourites of the 1950s, Vic Keeble and Peter Wright.
Classy striker Keeble scored the U's first hat-trick in the Football League, against Plymouth on March 17, 1951. His stay at Layer Road was short and sweet, ending with a big-money move to Newcastle United in February, 1952. The Magpies splashed out £15,000.
Keeble bagged 2.4% of the votes, while winger Wright, a local lad who went on to play 427 league games between 1952 and '64, amassed 2.2%.
Alex Cheyne is the oldest player on the list. He played in the U's first ever game in the Southern League, a 3-0 defeat at Yeovil on August 28, 1937. This Scottish international had been snapped up from Chelsea, a real coup. His career was ended by the Second World War.
Cheyne is 42nd on our list. Other names to feature in the Top 100, who played before the U's joined the Football League in 1950, include winger Harry Bearryman, inside forward Fred Cutting, strikers Bob Curry and Arthur Turner, and keeper Wright.
Back to the present and Wayne Brown, who has been so instrumental in the U's success in the Championship this season, is the highest-placed centre-half in 14th spot, five places ahead of fellow central defender Duncan Forbes, who played for Colchester during the 1960s before moving on to Norwich.