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Big Chris Retires

29 October 2014

Front man calls it a day after memorable career.

One of Colchester United’s most popular strikers called time on his career on Tuesday afternoon.

Chris Iwelumo, who was an integral part of the U’s promotion to the Championship and that memorable first season in the second tier, has decided to finish an illustrious time in football that saw him score 121 goals.

37 of those goals came in a Colchester shirt, with Chris striking up a once in a generation partnership with Jamie Cureton, with the little and large duo troubling defences up and down the country in a memorable two year spell.

Chris’ arrival at Layer Road was typical of the squad building that Phil Parkinson had undertaken during his time as manager of the U’s.

The big forward had made his name at Stoke City, but was brought back into English football by Parky in the summer of 2005, having been playing out in Germany with Alemannia Aachen.

It was a new name for many U’s supporters, but they would soon fall in love with the powerful forward who played an instrumental role in the 2005/6 campaign.

He got off to a steady start in Colchester colours but exploded into life with the arrival of strike partner Cureton, who initially arrived on loan in October of that season.

By the end of the campaign, the Scotsman had scored 19 goals, with three coming from the penalty spot in what was soon to become his trademark style of starting with his back to goal.

Cureton returned to the U’s that summer and the little and large partnership were to enjoy a memorable season at Championship level.

The diminutive Cureton grabbed the divisional golden boot as the U’s went within a hair’s breadth of the play-off spots for the Premier League, but Big Chris weighed in with an equally as important 19.

Perhaps his finest hour amongst many memorable games for the U’s came in the game against Hull City.

Against the manager that brought him back into English football, Chris powered home four goals in a 5-1 triumph that was typical of the swashbuckling style of play that brought the U’s so much success that season.

Chris’ 37 goals put him 35th in the all time U’s goalscorers list and his performances earned him a move to Charlton.

Now pursuing his own business ventures and taking his first steps in working within the media, Chris will no doubt be a popular face upon any visits to Colchester in the years to come and it would be no surprise to see him in the U's Hall of Fame at some point in the future.


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