U's Fans Launch Dick Graham Stand Campaign
"On the morning of the match I went down to the waterfront... it was beautiful, just like a summer day, with blue sky and a calm sea. And, as I looked out I knew, beyond all shadow of a doubt, that we were going to beat Leeds. I can`t tell you why - I just did. It wasn`t wishful thinking, it was total conviction. I knew we were going to win." - Dick Graham later recalls that historic F.A. Cup match.
More than 200 Colchester United fans are backing a campaign to see former manager Dick Graham honoured with a stand in his name at the club`s new ground.
The former U`s manager was inducted to the club`s hall of fame in recently but now, thanks to a group of fans of the club`s official message board, scores of supporters are considering writing to the club itself to get the name of what is currently called the West Stand changed.
Dick Graham famously lead his side, nicknamed Grandad`s Army because seven of the first-team were over the age of thirty, to a momentous FA Cup victory over Leeds United in 1971. He also managed Crystal Palace and Leyton Orient.
Owner Robbie Cowling should be aware of the situation as he has received a letter written on behalf of the U`s fans directly involved, who are awaiting a formal response for the club to the proposed re-naming.
An excerpt from the letter, made available on the side`s official message board in an effort to increase public involvement, reads: "Many feel strongly that a suitable accolade [for Graham] would be for the 'West Stand` to be officially renamed 'The Dick Graham Stand` in recognition of his historic achievements.
"They would also dearly like this to be implemented for the start of the 2009/10 season but certainly whilst Mr. Graham - who, like us all, is of course not getting any younger - is still around to appreciate this gesture.
"Furthermore, we also believe this move will help 'personalise` our stadium ; further enhancing the family feel of our great club, whilst also providing a tangible link at our new stadium with our Layer Road past."
A campaign poster is being readied by those involved, which could be appear as soon as next month when pre-season kick-off, while all those behind the scheme are being urged to write directly to the club.
This could be the biggest campaign at United since 10,000 fans signed a petition in 2006, which encouraged the council to build the new ground, as the Youtube video below shows.
So far, there are some 215 members on the Facebook page in support of the idea.
For U`s fans who want to join the Facebook group and support the motion, click here.
Vital Colchester would like to declare wholehearted support for the renaming of the West Stand at the now year-old Community Stadium.
Is Layer Road's famous spirit to be reborn? Cick here to view pictures and an article about the old ground.
Do YOU support Colchester fans' wish to rename thier West Stand after a famous ex-manager?
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