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

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

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

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

Login to post a comment

Recent Colchester United Articles

After Game Player Interviews Explained

Scientific researchers have discovered that a tendency for professional footballers to overuse the words 'um' 'ah' and 'err' in post game press interviews...

No More ******* Bad Language - EFL

The Football League, or EFL for those with a rebrand nature, have called on fans across the country to say no to 'starry' language or no more...

FA Cup First Round Proper - Full Draw (17/10/16)

The draw for the first round of the FA Cup took place earlier this evening.

Colchester's FA Cup Ball Number Known (17/10/16)

With the FA Cup first round draw later this evening (Monday), clubs have been allocated ball numbers for the first stage of this year's competition.

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)

Colchester v Rochdale
Suggested By:
Colchester win50%
Rochdale win50%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Plymouth 14 10 2 2 32 12
2 Carlisle 14 7 7 0 28 10
3 Doncaster 14 8 2 4 26 8
4 Luton 14 6 5 3 23 9
5 Portsmouth 14 6 3 5 21 6
6 Notts County 14 6 3 5 21 1
7 Accrington 14 5 5 4 20 1
8 Grimsby 14 6 2 6 20 0
9 Crawley 14 5 5 4 20 -1
10 Morecambe 14 6 2 6 20 -6
11 Mansfield 14 4 7 3 19 1
12 Crewe 14 4 7 3 19 -1
13 Yeovil 14 6 1 7 19 -5
14 Blackpool 14 4 5 5 17 4
15 Colchester 14 4 5 5 17 -1
16 Cheltenham 14 3 7 4 16 -1
17 Hartlepool 14 3 7 4 16 -4
18 Barnet 14 3 7 4 16 -4
19 Cambridge 14 4 4 6 16 -5
20 Leyton Orient 14 4 3 7 15 -2
21 Wycombe 14 4 3 7 15 -5
22 Stevenage 13 4 2 7 14 -3
23 Exeter 14 4 1 9 13 -6
24 Newport 13 1 5 7 8 -8
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Colchester United Results (view all)

Colchester United Fixtures (view all)

Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Plymouth Argyle (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 12 2016 3:00PM : Leyton Orient (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 19 2016 3:00PM : Yeovil Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 22 2016 7:45PM : Cheltenham Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Crewe Alexandra (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Mansfield Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Vital Football Comment