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Parky Is U's Greatest

17 April 2014

...and Doogie is our best ever skipper.

Phil Parkinson’s time in charge of Colchester United sees him named as the U’s greatest manager by the club’s fans in a poll conducted as part of The Football League's 125th Anniversary celebrations.

Parkinson finished playing at Reading in 2003 and took over the Colchester job that same year, guiding them to several steady finishes before their crowning glory came in 2006 when they finished second in League 1 to earn promotion to the Championship and a place in the second tier of English football for the first time.

The 46-year-old left his position that summer but his achievements were enough to see him head the vote on 76%, a long way in front of Dick Graham (15%), Steve Wignall (5%) and Geraint Williams (4%).

Parkinson also won the vote by Bradford City supporters and is one of only four managers to make the list for two different clubs – alongside Alec Stock (Queens Park Rangers & Yeovil Town), Brian Clough (Derby County & Nottingham Forest), and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill (Leicester City & Wycombe Wanderers).

His departure didn’t de-rail Colchester as they went on to finish 10th in the Championship in 2006/07 - at one point looking like they may even be promotion contenders - and that season was voted as the club’s greatest with more than half of the votes, ahead of 2005/06, 1991/92 and 1970/71.

Karl Duguid made his Colchester debut at the age of 17, the first of well over 400 appearances for the club, and as captain of the team that won promotion to and then settled well in the Championship he was voted as the U’s greatest skipper, ahead of Mickey Cook and Tony English.

But the vote for Colchester’s greatest ever player went to someone from a completely different era – Peter Wright, a winger whose United career spanned 13 years and more than 400 games from 1951 to 1964.

Wright, who died in October 2012, took 35% of the vote, ahead of Mark Kinsella (28%), Lomano Tresor LuaLua (20%), Tony Adcock and Jamie Cureton.

Parkinson, Duguid and Wright sits alongside legends of the game including Sir Brian Clough, Bobby Robson, Sir Tom Finney, Billy Wright, Sir Stanley Matthews, Trevor Francis, Billy Bremner and Herbert Chapman who have all been named in a list of the greatest contributors to clubs’ league history in a vote as part of The Football League’s 125th Anniversary celebrations.

The names feature in lists for each of the current 72 Football League clubs’ greatest in various categories including managers, players, captains, fan favourites, matches and seasons.  The polls were run by The Football League to celebrate each club’s own contribution to the last 125 years of league football.  

The results have been announced on the anniversary of The Football League’s formation on 17th April 1888 to bring down the curtain on a year of activity celebrating the start of the world’s original league football competition.

Nearly 100,000 votes were cast in the polls after clubs were first invited to compile their own shortlist for each category based on fans’ nominations via social media.

A list of the winners in each category can be seen at www.FL125.co.uk/vote, and a club-by-club breakdown for each vote with more detail on the winners can be seen at www.FL125.co.uk/colchester-united.

Supporters can find out more about The Football League’s 125th Anniversary at www.FL125.co.uk.  Fans also still have a chance to visit a special exhibition called ‘Game Changers’ at the National Football Museum in Manchester celebrating 125 years of The Football League, with contributions from every club.  

The exhibition is free to enter and open 7 days a week – for more details visit http://po.st/GameChangers.


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