Vital Football

Latest Colchester United News

Godfrey`s Retirement No Hospital Pass

Godfrey`s Retirement No Hospital Pass

Godfrey`s Retirement Is No Hospital Pass

Matt Calmus gives a sentimental reaction to the news that one of the Football Club`s most established figures is soon to swap his commentary box position for a seat in the stands at the Weston Homes Community Stadium…

You only need to spend half an hour talking to Godfrey Thomas about his beloved Colchester United to realise that he is a walking history book first, matchday mouthpiece second.

Hospital Radio`s resident football commentator of 50 years is about to pass the microphone over for good, but not before his recognisable tones invade the airwaves in two more games. Godfrey`s final formal appearances are both at home, for tonight`s visit of Leicester and then Leeds United next year.

His involvement as an ambassador for the now booming patient-centred service, set up and first installed permanently at United by his father, Arthur, is traceable through some of the club`s proudest moments.

A year after Ted Fenton`s 1947/8 side became the first non-leaguers to gain giant-killer status in the F.A. Cup, Godfrey started attending games. Until then, he heard match action at home in nearby Drury Road, listening outside while excitedly awaiting his dad`s return from the terraces.

Godfrey`s first formal term behind the mike in 1956/7 as a teenager also coincided with an epic season of local significance, as Colchester jostled for the old Third Division title with neighbours Ipswich.

"The derby match against Town, who were the eventual champions and where player-manager Benny Fenton dramatically missed a penalty, was one of my very first as a volunteer," Godfrey recalls.


He was later part of the four-man team behind a limited edition LP, produced before the U`s epic win over Don Revie`s Leeds United during the 1971 FA Cup game.

Godfrey also covered Colchester`s first trip to Wembley for Hospital Radio, in 1992.

The 1971 Cup recording became such a covered item, after only a limited run of 1,000 copies, that it reappeared two years ago on CD when Leeds returned to Layer Road for the first time since that famous clash.

"I`m retiring now because I think all good things need to have a finite period, particularly if you do voluntary work. Next year`s fixture against Leeds in particular, given my connections with game 37 years ago, seemed a good one to make my last," Godfrey explains.

The wind of change, what with the recent move to the Western Homes Community Stadium, just keeps blowing in Essex, but thankfully not without a healthy acknowledgement of times past.

As our man relates: "There`s a very long connection because my father was secretary of the Supporters` Club in the late 1940s, when it was the largest in Britain. There were 16,000 paid-up members of the club at the height of its success."

Godfrey has had United in his blood, and voice, then, for half a century; since those early days when footballing temptation wafted down the terraces, up the street and into his boyhood home.

The long-time commentator is at least one person you could forgive for being speechless at some point this during this evening`s game.

To read more of Godfrey`s thoughts on the U`s and football in general, check out the full series of interviews at www.Colchester.vitalfootball.co.uk.

There are also copies of the limited edition CD that commemorates 1971`s FA Cup victory still available in the Club Shop.

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.
www.papajohns.co.uk/football



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Matt_Us
Date:Wednesday October 1 2008
Time: 9:30AM

Best of Vital Network

Vital Boxing - Dan Blackwell Retires

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

Match Day Officials v Barnsley (30/4/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Barnsley this weekend.

Colchester - Football League Dates 2016/17

The Football League, or the brainless EFL rebrand, have today released the key dates for the coming 2016/17 season.

League 1 - Colchester 0-3 Burton

We'll not be seeing any great Colchester escape this season with relegation into League 2 confirmed following a three-nil defeat against title chasing Burton.

Stats: Colchester v Burton Albion

All the stats from Colchester (0) vs (3) Burton Albion, Weston Homes Community Stadium, 23/04/16 Att: 4,292

Archived Vital Colchester Articles

Vital Colchester articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Colchester
Write For Vital Colchester
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Barnsley v Colchester
Suggested By:
Colchester win100%
Barnsley win0%
Draw0%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Wigan 44 23 15 6 84 36
2 Burton 44 24 9 11 81 19
3 Walsall 44 22 12 10 78 15
4 Millwall 44 22 9 13 75 20
5 Bradford 44 21 11 12 74 12
6 Barnsley 44 21 7 16 70 13
7 Gillingham 44 19 12 13 69 17
8 Scunthorpe 44 19 11 14 68 10
9 Sheff Utd 44 18 12 14 66 9
10 Rochdale 44 18 11 15 65 6
11 Port Vale 44 18 11 15 65 4
12 Coventry 44 17 12 15 63 14
13 Southend 44 16 11 17 59 -4
14 Peterborough 44 17 6 21 57 4
15 Bury 44 15 12 17 57 -15
16 Swindon 44 15 10 19 55 -10
17 Oldham 44 12 18 14 54 -9
18 Chesterfield 44 14 8 22 50 -13
19 Shrewsbury 44 13 11 20 50 -17
20 Fleetwood 44 11 15 18 48 -4
21 Blackpool 44 12 10 22 46 -15
22 Doncaster 44 11 12 21 45 -14
R Colchester 44 9 12 23 39 -41
R Crewe 44 6 13 25 31 -37
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

Apr 30 2016 3:00PM : Barnsley (a)
Sky Bet League One
May 8 2016 12:30PM : Rochdale (H)
Sky Bet League One