Tribute: Chris 'Luminator` Iwelumo
The now departed Chris Iwelumo, who joined a newly relegated Championship side Charlton yesterday, scored 37 times for Colchester in a two-year spell from 2005 to 2007.
Here, Vital Colchester remembers some of his best goals as a tribute to the man who played a huge part in spearheading the U`s from League One and to within an inch of the Championship play-offs in the space of two whirlwind seasons …
League One, 13th August 2005, Barnsley (H) 1-0 W
Chris scored his first goal to coincide with team`s first win of a season that would eventually end in promotion.
On-loan winger Mark Yeates won the ball in his own penalty area, before running three-quarters of the pitch, picking out U`s skipper Karl Duguid. Cutting a high ball back into Iwelumo, Duguid put it onto Iwelumo`s head; he fired in the game`s only goal.
1st October 2005, Chesterfield (H) 1-2 L
This goal, Iwelumo`s fourth, was the best moment of what was poor game for the U`s.
First Neil Danns lost the ball on the halfway line, although he is dispossessed. Kevin Watson then picked up the stray pass, and, having paused for a moment, chipped it neatly forward, cutting out a trio of Chesterfield heads in the process. Kem Izzet wins it aerial ball, heading back for a prowling Big Chris to fire home from outside the box.
He struck it cleanly, first time, from outside the area into the top left-hand corner of the net, leaving the 'keeper with no chance.
29th October 2005, Yeovil (H) 3-2 W
This was a great team goal, marking the first game where Jamie Cureton and Chris Iwelumo start together up front. The U`s eventually won, despite going behind twice. Chris netted a neat brace.
For the selected goal, Liam Chilvers got the ball at the midway point of the end the U`s were defending. He squared it to Wayne Brown. Brown found Karl Duguid with a flat pass along the ground, then turning once to find winger Richard Garcia on the halfway line.
Garcia manages to beat two Yeovil men with a nutmeg and eight-yard run. After cutting across toward the penalty area, a cross comes in to Iwelumo, who is on hand to poke it home.
The goal was also memorable for its celebration, where Chris teamed up with Neil Danns after scoring to begin a trademark reaction after finding the net, which a bizarre swimming-like response to hitting the siring.
12th November 2005, Rotherham (A) 2-1 W
Richard Garcia linked up well with Danns, playing him into the area. Unselfishly, the midfielder put an acute pass in toward Iwelumo, who slotted home to win the points.
During this period, great form saw Iwelumo net five goals within a period of three games either side of this fixture.
17th December 2005, MK Dons (H) 2-0 W
This goal by Chris, which was the second in a game with goals that came at the start and then end, sealed the club`s forth win at home in a row and their tenth in a sequence dating back to October.
It was a penalty, Chris`s trademark. During his Colchester career, Chris Iwelumo never missed a penalty.
The Championship, 18th October 2006, Sheffield Wed (H) 4-0 W
Chris`s low drive from the outside the area came on a night when the U`s sealed their biggest win to date in the Championship, resulting in the sacking of the opposition manager. All of the goals in this fixture, including a 35-yard screamer from Greg Halford, short-listed for Football League goal of the Year, came from outside the box.
28th November 2006, Hull City (H) 5-1 W
Chris netted four, including a penalty, becoming the first U`s player to do so since 1991, during a night which was arguably his proudest in a Colchester shirt. Dispatching former boss Phil Parkinson emphatically, amid cries of 'Parky, Parky, job centre!`, Chris helped the team come from behind to record a storming victory by grabbing himself four goals.
26th December 2006, Luton (H) 4-1 W
Another fantastic team goal, which is actually also Geraint Williams` favourite finish of the 2006-7 campaign. Iwelumo, after a brilliant cross by Jamie Cureton, finished a move that had begun when a great pass from Kevin Watson, which took out three opposing players. The goal was the second of an Iwelumo brace during this Christmas demolition.
9th April 2007, Leeds United (H) 2-1 W
His penultimate U`s goal, Chris fired an acute and looping header past the Leeds 'keeper to ignite a dramatic six-minute fight-back from the battling U`s, sparked by the dream duo of Iwelumo and Cureton, who each netted. A pinpoint delivery from skipper Duguid allowed Iwelumo to fire deservedly home.
Not the most prolific of all-time in the club`s history by any means, but a hero and hot shot all the same. Vital Colchester would like to wish Chris Iwelumo all the best at his new club; he will get a good reception from most when he returns next season!