2008/9 Leeds Giantkillers Remembered

Wed 11 Jul 2012
Author: Matt Hudson
Layer Road during the momentous Leeds game

Layer Road during the momentous Leeds game

Cup legends inducted as a group.

Colchester United's giantkilling heroes of 1971 were remembered at the club's inaugural Former Players Association dinner on Friday night.

With the match against Leeds United in the 2008/9 season at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, the theme of that year's Former Players Dinner was the classic FA Cup game.

Two Ray Crawford goals and one from Dave Simmons were enough to send the all conquering Elland Road side out of the cup, to the world's astonishment.

U's boss Paul Lambert at the time was on hand to induct Ray and his team-mates into the Hall of Fame.

Speaking to the audience, Paul said: "When you first arrive at a football club, you might not know the complete history of the place at first.

"Watching the highlights of the FA Cup game tonight, you can see why it made such a big impact on everybody here. Something like that will never happen again.

"It is an honour to be here this evening and to induct the players into the club's Hall of Fame."

Of the team that defeated Leeds on that historic afternoon, defender Brian Hall and substitute Micky Cook had already been inducted in the first year of the Hall of Fame's existence.

Manager Dick Graham was also inducted in the second year, but the remaining ten players of that side were all inducted on Friday night.

Sadly a number of that side are no longer with us, but they will be posthumously inducted and their families contacted to inform them of the news.

Those players to be inducted are:-

Graham Smith (1969-72)
Goalkeeper who joined the U's from Notts County, making 115 appearances.

John Gilchrist (1970-72)
Former Millwall full back who joined the U's from Fulham. He made 56 appearances, scoring twice.

Bobby Cram (1969-72)
Another of the U's defenders on that fateful day, Bobby joined the U's from Vancouver Royals and made 116 appearances, scoring four times.

John Kurila (1970-72)
One of Dick Graham's signings, John arrived from Southend and made 65 appearances, scoring four times for the U's.

Brian Garvey (1970-72)
Wing half who played for Hull and Watford before joining the U's. He made 93 appearances, scoring twice for the club.

Brian Lewis (1970-72)
A young player under Dick Graham at Palace, the wing half joined the U's in 1970 and made 59 appearances, scoring 28 goals.

Brian Gibbs (1968-72)
A free scoring forward who joined from Gillingham, he carried on being a threat upon his arrival at Layer Road, grabbing 41 goals in 178 appearances.

Mick Mahon (1970-74)
Rapid wide man who came to the U's from York City. He now teaches locally, having made 158 appearances and scoring 32 goals for the club.

Dave Simmons (1970-73)
Striker who scored the third goal in the win over Leeds. Joined from Aston Villa and scored 18 times in 71 appearances for the club.

Ray Crawford (1970-71)
The U's hero on a day full of star performances. Ray had scored freely and notched 24 appearances in 45 matches in that season before heading to South Africa.

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