U’s and me: Freddie Sears signed for a month, and ended up staying for nearly three years!

Freddie Sears, on his debut against Yeovil in February, 2012

Freddie Sears, on his debut against Yeovil in February, 2012 - Credit: Archant

It was exciting news, for U’s fans, when Freddie Sears was announced as a new loan signing, from Premier League West Ham on February 17, 2012.

The deal was initially just for a month, but in the end front-runner Sears was to stay at Colchester for nearly three years!

I recall his debut, at Yeovil Town just 24 hours after his arrival, with fondness, even though John Ward’s men lost that game 3-2.

Steven Gillespie gave the U’s a half-time lead, but that advantage was wiped out by three goals in a 17-minute spell of the second period, via Dean Parrett, Lawson D’Ath and Andy Williams.

Although Martin Rowlands reduced the arrears in the last minute, it was not enough to salvage a draw.

However Sears, although he was not amongst the scorers, still showed enough flair, pace and skill to suggest that he would be a good addition to the U’s squad.

And so it proved.

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Sears extended his loan stay until the end of the season, scoring his first goal in a U’s shirt with an 81st minute penalty in a 1-1 home draw against Hartlepool on April 6. It was his first goal in a year.

He also hit the back of the net in the final home game of the season, a 4-2 win over Tranmere.

That summer, Sears left West Ham by mutual consent, and signed a three-year deal with the U’s in July, 2012.

He went on to give terrific service to United, but he now begins a new chapter at Ipswich Town.

I, for one, think Sears will be a big hit in the Championship, but time will tell.