UK time is: 17:43:03
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Seven Days Of U's Top 5 - Homegrown U's

Vital Colchester today launches a week-long countdown for all things U`s. Today, we look at the top five homegrown talents and summarise their careers in stripesand beyond...

5) Vic Keeble - Colchester-born Striker 1947 - 1952

Keeble played up front for Colchester for five years before moving on to play for Newcastle and then West Ham in the between 1950-1958 but his career was ended prematurely by injury.

His ratio for Colchester was a goal every other game as he scored 23 times in 46 outings for the U`s.

Keeble played alongside the great Jackie Milburn for Newcastle and featured in the 1955 F.A. Cup final.

That season, Keeble scored 29 goals in 34 league and cup outings.

They say: "I'm coming up Saturday, I fancy you Vic, I could well put in a bid for you. I'll take a look at you, see how you do.' - Ted Fenton, ex-Colchester manager, scouting Keeble, before signing him following a two-goal performence, for West Ham.

4) Perry Groves - Winger 1982-1986

The London-born winger, who later became an Arsenal cult-hero was nomadic for Colchester during his spell, earning a maximum wage of £150 per week, doubled by the Gunners.

Fans famously sung We All Live In A Perry Groves World to the tune of the Beatles` hit, Yellow Submarine and his 2006 autobiography sold even more copies than one by current England international, Wayne Rooney.

He scored just 26 goals for Colchester in four years but was virtually ever-present in that time.

A bit of a red-hearing in this selection, Groves infamously lived life as a boozed-up girl-chaser but did however win two League titles and a League Cup with Arsenal.

The Telegraph says Arsenal`s official history lists the ex-U`s man as "Perry Grives," adding how he: "sprinted up and down the touchline like Carl Lewis only to cross, dribble and shoot like Jerry Lewis."

They say: "It might seem strange, that with the silky talents of Cesc Fábregas and Thierry Henry in front of them, they should be singing the name of a ginger Tintin lookalike, an average player as he himself admits, who left the club nearly 15 years ago. But they were making a point: they had been fans before the French renaissance." - Guardian journalist, Sam Wollaston.

3) Micky Cook - Defender 1969 - 1984

Cook was a true one-club man whose U`s shirt became a second skin as he played 699 games for Colchester to become the club`s record apparence holder.

He was the only, mandatory, substitute during the club`s famous F.A. Cup win against Leeds in 1971 and can be seen at the top of the page playing against Manchester United.

Cook played for United for fifteen years, showing fantastic loyalty during his time at the former ground, Layer Road.

Cook began his Colchester career in 1969, and played until 1984.

He would have signed for Leyton Orient, under future U`s boss Dick Graham; due to financial difficulties, Cook left Orient`s books for the U`s after three years spent waiting for a professional contract.

He was 16 when he signed from schoolboy forms.

They say: "I think 400 games is a good achievement but not enough; every time he sees me, Micky Cook always tells me he has played more!" - Ex-U`s skipper and now Plymouth captain, Karl Duguid on reaching an appetence milestone.

2) Lomana LuaLua Winger / Striker 1998 - 2000

Discovered by Cook when he later became coach at the club, LuaLua is classed in football terms as a late developer because he didn`t start playing at all until the age of 16.

He was spotted in London, and had previously wanted to go into athletics.

LuaLua scored 21 goals in just 44 stats for the U`s, which prompted Newcastle United boss Sir Bobby Robson to spend £2.5 million on his services, a then club record.

It has since been matched since as a received fee for another former youth product, Greg Halford.

He developed an infamous summersault scoring celebration which made him famous in the Premier League.

The also donned the colours of Portsmouth Football Club, and also went on to skipper his national side, DR Congo. LuaLua currently plays his football in Qatar, but became a cult hero aboard in his spell with Greek side Olympiakos, where a samba song was named after him.

They say: "I see [LuaLua] as a special talent. He has to learn how to play with the other players but he's a special new talent. He has to be nursed and cherished and taught. But we are buying long-term a very promising talent, a very promising player." - Sir Bobby Robson.

1) Karl Duguid Defender / Midfielder 1996 - 2008

Duguid, now with Plymouth, is a modern icon for Colchester United`s latest generation and was a great servant to the club.

A product of the club`s Youth Training Scheme, he lead his beloved club to their highest level ever in the Championship, memorably finding the net against rivals Ipswich Town (twice) during 2006/7, and he also faced the charge of Chelsea in the FA Cup the previous season.

He overcame an almost career-ending injury to be named skipper by ex-boss Phil Parkinson and has said he will one day return to manage the club.

To read Vital Colchester's tribute to Karl Duguid from the archives, who left only last summer, click here.

Who are your top-five youth U's?

Let us know with a comment below, chat about this article in the forum. Not yet a member? Don't panic, click on the banner below to join in.

We want to know YOUR thoughts...



Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

For the very latest League One odds

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

The Journalist

Writer: Matt_Us Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday June 21 2009

Time: 10:12AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I know that Mark Kinsella is missing, before anybody asks... but that's all part of the debate with these choices! Also thought about putting Peter Wright in. [Edited by MattUs]
Report Abuse
21/06/2009 10:21:00

Greg Halford would have maybe made mine! Some good choices though...
StevieG Col U
Report Abuse
22/06/2009 19:04:00

But it's taking in the WHOLE history!!
Report Abuse
22/06/2009 19:35:00


Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Colchester United Articles

Rotherham Defender Joins (Thursday March 26 2015)

Defender Recalled By Ipswich (Wednesday March 25 2015)

Forward Thinking? (Wednesday March 25 2015)

Injury Concern (Monday March 23 2015)

Stats: Gillingham v U's (Saturday March 21 2015)

Swindon Visit Rearranged (Saturday March 21 2015)

Hubble Released Healy Recalled (Saturday March 21 2015)

Gillingham v Colchester (Team News) (Saturday March 21 2015)

Colchester 2-0 Yeovil (League 1) (Wednesday March 18 2015)

Archived Colchester United Articles

List All Vital Colchester Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
18. Coventry 39 11 12 16 -11 45
19. Crewe 39 13 6 20 -32 45
20. Crawley 39 11 10 18 -22 43
21. Leyton Orient 38 11 9 18 -4 42
22. Notts County 37 11 9 17 -13 42
23. Colchester 38 10 8 20 -17 38
24. Yeovil 38 8 8 22 -31 32

Breaking League News

» Sheff Utd : 28/03/2015 17:09:01
» Barnsley : 28/03/2015 17:07:01
» Yeovil : 28/03/2015 17:02:00
» Gillingham : 28/03/2015 17:01:01
» Rochdale : 28/03/2015 17:00:01

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Port Vale v Colchester
Suggested By:  VitalU's
Colchester win 67%
Port Vale win 0%
Draw 33%