It is with huge sadness that we have to announce the death of former Colchester United winger Peter Wright.
Peter passed away on Wednesday after a long battle with illness, aged 78.
One of the U's greatest ever players, Peter's connections with, and affection for, his local team remained strong throughout the years, including his role as chairman of the club's Former Players' Association in his later years.
Voted the club's Player of the Century in a poll in 2000, Peter remains amongst the highest appearance makers in the club's history, sitting fourth in the U's Football League appearances list and seventh in the 'all competitions' top ten.
He was also an important part of Colchester life, volunteering much of his spare time to a range of organisations across the town and local area over many years, including the Marconi Club and the bowls club in Mersea.
Peter's connection to his beloved U's began in November 1951, when he signed as a part time professional.
He was a regular in the first team throughout his time at the club, with his first team career starting against Northampton Town in March 1952 and ending in April 1964 against Shrewsbury Town – the U's opponents this weekend in League One.
His high quality performances on the wing attracted interest from Birmingham City, Fulham and Bolton, but he was happy to stay in the town and combine his football with working in the Paxman Diesel factory.
As well as a key provider of chances for other players with some dynamic play down the wing in his more than 400 appearnces for the club, Peter had an impressive goal tally of his own.
He scored 16 in 1957/8 and finishing with 96 goals for the club in all competitions over that 13 year professional career, a tally that put him sixth on the U's goalscorers list.
His family connections remained strong with the U's over the years – son Steve played over 140 times for the club, whilst grandson Jamie was also briefly in the club’s professional ranks in the final days at Layer Road.
Peter was instrumental in the formation of the club's formation of a Former Players' Association upon their move to the Weston Homes Community Stadium, and he took great pride in seeing players of all eras reunited at the annual dinners held at the U's new venue.
His legacy will live on with that organisation and the good work it does for those that have pulled on the blue and white stripes.
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time - the U's have lost a great man.