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Club News

Father And Son

14 March 2016

Louis and Joe join a special group at the U's.

The Dunnes became the sixth father and son combination to play for Colchester United, as Louis followed in dad Joe's footsteps with his debut against Wigan Athletic at the weekend.

Louis came on as a second half substitute for Elliot Lee - who also has a famous footballing father in Rob - for his first appearance in the senior side.

Joe of course had a long and illustrious history with the U's, as part of the 1997/8 promotion winning team and as youth team and first team manager, before being inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.

Previous to the Dunnes, there were five father and son pairings who had pulled on the blue and white stripes.

The Barlows
Father Bert wore Colchester colours between 1952 and 1954 after his arrival from Leicester City. In his two seasons at the club, he played 67 times before leaving to join Crittall Athletic.

Son Peter joined as an apprentice in 1966 and played 23 times across three seasons before leaving to play for Workington.

The Wrights
Dad Peter is arguably the club's finest ever player and was awarded that accolade at the turn of the century by the Colchester Gazette. An inaugural member of the club's Hall of Fame, Peter's association with the club went on long after his playing days. He made 451 appearances for the club - all starts - in his thirteen years with the U's.

Son Steve followed in his father's footsteps some thirteen years later and spent five years in the U's first team, playing 141 times. The Wrights almost had a third generation of first team players with Jamie reaching the U18s and reserves  in his time at Layer Road.

Son Chris came to Layer Road forty-eight years later after leaving Ipswich Town and played 28 times for the club, scoring twice. An Achilles injury cut short his time at the club and he went on to join Heybridge Swifts.

Like Peter Wright, father Vic Keeble was one of the club's first Hall of Famers. A powerful goalscorer, he made 130 appearances for the U's and scored 87 times, a strike rate that was enough to attract the attentions of Newcastle, where he won the FA Cup.
The Keebles
The Hunters
Seven years later, son Lee arrived at Layer Road as a youth team player and made nine appearances for the club before leaving to join Wigan Athletic. After his time at the Latics, he played for a host of local clubs near to the U's.

Ipswich Town star Allan Hunter joined the U's in 1982 as player-manager, having enjoyed a career at Portman Road that saw him win the FA Cup in 1978. His time at Layer Road was to last just seven months, in which time he played 26 times for the U's.

The Wignalls
Father Steve is the third of our six dads to have also managed the U's as well as playing for them. He played for the club after arriving from Doncaster Rovers - the U's next home opponents. Between 1977 and 1984, he barely missed a game in the heart of the U's defence.

He returned as manager in January 1995 and led the team into the then Division Two (now League One) in 1998 via the play-offs, thanks to David Gregory's goal at Wembley.

Son Jack followed many of the other sons in this story by joining from the youth team in 1999. He made two starts for the club before leaving to join Dagenham & Redbridge and has gone on to play for a host of local teams.

Stats and information from the excellent website, run by U's fan and historian Graeson Laitt.

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