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2009/10 Committee Inductees

12 July 2012

Long serving goalkeepers selected.

Three long serving Colchester United players were inducted into the club's Hall of Fame during the 2009/10 season.

Over 200 guests were in attendance for the Former Players' Association's second annual reunion dinner, with many men who had represented the U's in attendance.

A fine evening's entertainment was capped by the latest induction into the Hall of Fame of three former players with over 1,300 Colchester appearances between them.

U's boss of the time Aidy Boothroyd led the acclaim for the three new inductees, who were Percy Ames, Mike Walker and Micky Packer.
Former shot stopper Walker was delighted to have been appreciated in such a fashion.

"It is fantastic to be inducted into such illustrious company," he said. 

"When you think of all the players that have come and gone during Colchester United's history, it is a nice acknowledgement to get. 

"To be inducted is a great privilege for me. I spent a long time at Colchester United as both a player and a coach and so something like this is very nice really."

Percy, who sadly passed away in 1998, was represented by his wife Betty on the evening, whilst Mick Packer collected his accolade just days before his sixtieth birthday.

Their profiles appear below, a testament to the efforts they put in on behalf of the U's.

2009/10 Hall of Fame Player Profiles

Percy Ames
Born: 13th December 1931
Died: 4th December 1998
Ames was Benny Fenton's first signing, having been recommended by the great Tottenham and England goalkeeper Ted Ditchburn. Ditchburn had declared that Ames was far too good for Tottenham's third team. 

Colchester were already aware of the player as he had undertaken his National Service at the local Garrison in 1954 and had turned out as a triallist in the end of season Pearson Charity Cup game in May 1955, being snapped up immediately after.

He began his U's career by saving a Benny Fenton penalty in the Probables v Possibles friendly in pre-season and repeated the feat on his league debut against Exeter.

Incredibly, he missed only three league games in seven seasons, two of them because of a fractured finger and included a run of 224 consecutive appearances. He starred in United's assault on the Second Division in 1956/7 and in the 1958/9 FA Cup run which finally saw defeat at Arsenal. 

Ames claimed a Fourth Division runners-up medal in 1961/2 and was United's first ever Player of the Year in 1964/5. 

West Brom made an offer for Ames, but Fenton wanted to hold onto his custodian and did not tell the player of their interest until two years later. Upon leaving the U's, he briefly joined Romford before turning out for his home-town team Bedford.

Mick Packer
Born: 20th April 1950
Jim Smith signed Packer on a free transfer from Watford in July 1973 as he sought to rebuild the side that had suffered re-election the previous season.

Packer arrived at the same time as goalkeeper - and fellow inductee - Mike Walker. At Watford, Packer had played in the 1970 FA Cup semi-final alongside future U's stars John Williams, Mike Walker and Brian Owen but he was loaned to Crewe on deadline day 1972.

Making 12 appearances at Gresty Road, Packer was released by the Hornets in the summer of 1973. Primarily a left back, he played at the heart of the defence and in midfield, had a no-nonsense attitude and a thunderous shot.

He played in United's big cup ties against Southampton, Derby, Leeds, Manchester United and Newcastle. He also won promotion to Division Three, twice, and played under Jim Smith, Bobby Roberts and Allan Hunter.

His long service was rewarded with a testimonial against West Ham in May 1983. On being released from Layer Road, he joined Wivenhoe as player-manager. Later, whilst managing a local leisure centre, he assisted AFC Sudbury and their reserve side.

Mike Walker
Born: 28th November 1945
Goalkeeper Walker qualified for Wales after being born in Colwyn Bay whilst his father was completing army service in North Wales.

Based in Reading, he represented Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon Boys, and joined home town team Reading as a junior in January 1963. 

He moved to Shrewsbury in the 1964 close season and then, still only 21, he signed for York in the summer of 1966, establishing himself, making sixty appearances in two seasons. 

Spotted by Watford, he joined the Hertfordshire outfit in September 1968, making 137 league appearances, winning the Third Division title in 1969 and appearing in the 1970 FA Cup semi-final.

Acquired by Jim Smith for £4,000, he was the model of consistency, playing 451 league games, including 310 consecutive appearances between February 1977 and January 1983.

In that time, he saw off five deputies, preventing any of Lee Smelt, Ian Cranstone, Bobby Hamilton and Jeff Wood, from making a first team appearance at Layer Road and thwarting any ambitions that John McInally might have had of adding to the appearances he had made prior to Walker's arrival.

He twice won promotion with the U's and, missing nine league games in ten seasons at Layer Road, he became reserve team manager and, when Cyril Lea was sacked in April 1986, he saw out the season as caretaker manager. 

Appointed full time boss for the 1986/7 season, he steered United to fifth place in Division Four before losing the play-off semi-final to Wolves. He then had them top of the Fourth Division in the following campaign before he was incredibly sacked by then chairman Jonathan Crisp.

He subsequently managed Norwich City, which included the Canaries' historic win over Bayern Munich.

Previous Inductees
2006/7: Micky Cook, Mark Kinsella, Tony English, Peter Wright, Brian Hall
2007/8: Reg Stewart, Vic Keeble, Bobby Hunt, Martyn King, Tony Adcock and Dick Graham as special inductee
Graham Smith, John Gilchrist, Bobby Cram, John Kurila, Brian Garvey, Brian Lewis, Brian Gibbs, Mick Mahon, Dave Simmons, Ray Crawford2008/9:


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