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Vic Keeble: 1930-2018

Former striker passes away after illness

31 January 2018

Everyone at Colchester United is deeply saddened to hear the news that Hall of Famer Vic Keeble has passed away after a short illness.

Vic was one of the club's first local heroes, playing for the club from 1947 through to 1952 as the U's moved into the Football League for the very first time.

Having started as a schoolboy at Arsenal, Colchester-born Vic returned to his hometown club in May 1947.

He made an immediate impression in the blue and white stripes, scoring a 16 minute hat-trick on his debut against Bedford.

He also marked his first professional game with a treble, against Norwich A.

His prolific goalscoring was to become a trademark, and he was soon selected to play in the Southern League representative side.

In 1949/50, he scored a remarkable 43 goals in 45 games in the Southern League and continued his scoring with the club's move into the Football League in the 1950/51 campaign.

He grabbed 7 in 21 that season and a further 16 in 25 in 1951/52, persuading Newcastle United to move to secure his undoubted talents - ending his U's days with a total of 65 goals in 81 games.

They paid a fee of £15,000 to the U's, and they were rewarded with 56 goals in 104 league appearances for the Magpies.

He won the FA Cup with Newcastle United in 1955, before returning to the south to play for West Ham in 1957.

And he continued to score at a remarkable rate, with 45 in 76 league appearances for the Hammers.

Following an early retirement due to a back injury, Vic became the club's commercial manager in 1968 and, even through to his later days, he remained a good friend of the club, attending Former Players' Association functions and watching many first team matches at both Layer Road and the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Vic was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007/8, as the U's left his spiritual home of Layer Road and both his footballing record and his personality will stand the test of time in the coming years.

Our thoughts are with Vic's family at this very sad time.

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