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Dick's Managerial Career

8 March 2013

More in his time at Colchester United.

The club were saddened to hear the news of Dick Graham's passing earlier this week - he will undoubtedly leave his mark on the club in the years to come.
Dick was born on the 6th of May, 1922 in Corby and spent much of his playing career with Crystal Palace, before injury cut short his time on the pitch.

After a short spell with Walsall, he got the U's job on the 1st of June, 1968 and went on to enjoy a memorable spell in charge of the club.

Next on his journey was a spell as Leyton Orient manager, where he spent just over eighteen months until the early months of 1968.

He embarked on his managerial career by taking the assistant manager job at Selhurst Park in November 1960, before taking the top job two years later, occupying the hotseat for three and a half years.
Manager for 216 U’s games, he won 92, drew 52, and lost 72.
Though Leeds fought back through Norman Hunter and Johnny Giles, ‘Graham’s Grandad’s’ had provided one of the greatest shocks in the history of the FA Cup.

The 5th Round saw them paired with Leeds United who had lost the Final last season. Amazingly, the U’s stormed in to a 3-0 lead thanks to a brace from Ray Crawford, and one from Dave Simmons.

Amidst that three year spell with the U's, his greatest achievement was the FA Cup run of 1970/71 when his team saw off Ringmer, Cambridge United, Barnet, and Rochdale.
After knocking out Luton and Carlisle United at Layer Road, they held West Bromwich Albion 4-4 at The Hawthorns. The U’s won the first ever penalty shoot-out seen on television with Phil Bloss sliding home the winning kick. Bloss would go on to marry Dick Graham’s daughter!

In the summer of 1971, he led the club to success in The Watney Cup – a pre-season tournament for the highest goal scoring teams not promoted.

He resigned his position after a dis-agreement with a shareholder in September 1972. He never managed in the Football League again.
His total managerial career (Colchester, Walsall, Leyton Orient and Palace) consisted of 365 games, 170 wins, 117 draws, and 131 defeats in nine years of management in the Football League.

Dick was elected to the Colchester United Hall of Fame in 2007 – the only manager to be elected without having ever played for the club.

His victorious FA Cup team were all elected in 2007. 

Graham signed some of the club’s greatest ever players including Bobby Cram, Ray Crawford, Brian Gibbs, Brian Lewis, Graham Smith as well as giving debuts to youngsters Steve Foley, Mickey Cook, Lindsay Smith and Steve Leslie.

His legacy will not be forgotten.

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