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Club News

Dick Graham: 1922-2013

8 March 2013

Club deeply saddened by former boss' death.

Colchester United are deeply saddened to hear the news that legendary manager Dick Graham has passed away, after a long battle with ill health.

Dick, who led the U's to one of the greatest FA Cup shocks of all time when they beat Leeds in 1971, died early on Thursday morning.

"He appeared to recover well from that operation, but an underlying heart condition worsened in January and for the last three weeks or so he has been confined to bed.

A family statement, issued to the club on Thursday evening said: "Dick has been unwell for some time now following a hip replacement operation in December.
 
"On Tuesday 5th March he went into a semi-coma and passed away, quite peacefully, this morning, Thursday 7th March, about 8.00am.
 
"As a family we would like to thank all those close friends and acquaintances who have spent time with him and visited him whilst he has been unwell.

"During the last few weeks close members of his family have been with him, supported him and tried to help him through this difficult time.
 
"The papers called it a David and Goliath struggle when the courage of a few experienced, older, professionals, marshalled by a great leader, Dick Graham, overcame insurmountable odds to beat a team of hardened, young, undefeated internationals. 

"Ray was the player who got two of the goals at that epic footballing battle when Colchester United beat Leeds United on 13th February 1971.

"During his last evening with us, we read to him a passage from Ray Crawford's autobiography.
 
"Dick seemed to enjoy the retelling of that story to him again.
 
"That means putting those words, those sentiments, those promises we make into actions.

"But away from the arena he was a kind, reflective man and one who believed that this life was a test and whatever life throws at us, we must not only try to do our best but always act with integrity.

"Strong minded, intelligent and a man of integrity. To us he was certainly a Gladiator in his own time, when he was a player and a leader of Gladiators when he was a manager.

"Our father, grandfather and Anne's husband, will always be known to the public for that memorable achievement. But to us he was always Dad, Granddad, Dick.
 
"He was a hero to us, his family and a hero to many people in Colchester and beyond.
 
The club passes on their most sincere condolences to the Graham family at this sad time, and we will have further reflection on the news during Friday.

"We will miss him, we will remember him and we will always be mindful of the lessons he taught us."

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