United we stand
Thu 28 January 2016, 14:15|Tottenham Hotspur
Although Spurs and Colchester United have never faced each other in a competitive match before, there are many links through players who have represented both clubs.
These include Teddy Sheringham, Terry Dyson, Jason Dozzell, Garry Brooke, Bongani Khumalo, Ian Culverhouse, Mark Yeates, Phil Ifil and David Leworthy.
Further connections are provided by Bert Page, Steve Pitt, Kevin Watson, Ray Bunkell, Simon Brown, Ian Cranstone, Ben Bowditch, Mark Jenney and Steve Grenfell.
England striker Sheringham, who had two spells as a Spurs player, signed for Colchester in July, 2007. At that time he was the oldest players in all four divisions and he retired from playing the following year. He is currently Stevenage manager.
Double-winning winger Dyson left us for Fulham in 1965 and signed for Colchester in August, 1968, staying with the U’s for two years. Brooke was at Layer Road in 1991 while Dozzell joined us from Ipswich Town in 1993 and then played for Colchester between 1998-2002.
South Africa captain Bongani Khumalo arrived at White Hart Lane in January, 2011, but failed to play a senior game for us. He moved to the Community Stadium on loan from March, 2015, until the end of the season.
Culverhouse came up through the ranks with us, signing as a professional in September, 1982, before having his best years with Norwich City. He was United’s assistant manager between 2008-09.
Below: Teddy Sheringham's final league match for Colchester against Stoke at Layer Road - April, 2008
Yeates was also a Spurs graduate who made four first team appearances for us before joining Colchester on loan in 2005-06, returning to sign a permanent deal there in July, 2007.
Full-back Ifil made five senior Spurs outings following his debut in 2004, leaving us for Colchester in January, 2008.
Leworthy was another player of great promise who we spotted in non-league after playing just one game for Portsmouth. He arrived at the Lane in August, 1984, and made his debut the following April against Arsenal. He later played for Oxford United and Reading and scored four goals in nine league games for United on loan in 1991 helping Colchester top the Conference.
Centre-half Page joined us in January, 1936, moving on to Colchester in the summer of 1947. Winger Pitt made just one senior appearance for us - at the age of 17 in 1965 –- and was with the U’s by June, 1969. Bunkell started with us in 1967 and played regularly in midfield for Colchester between 1974-80.
Watson was also a former Spurs trainee who played eight first team games for us, scoring on his debut in the League Cup against Brentford in September, 1992. He played regularly in the Colchester midfield between 2004-08 and helped them gain promotion from League One in 2006. He is currently Sheringham’s assistant at Stevenage.
Bowditch represented England at all levels up to Under-20 and left us for the U’s in 2004; goalkeeper Brown was another product of our youth system who spent five years at Colchester from 1999; Grenfell was loaned by us to United in 1986 and then signed permanently; winger Jenney also came up through the Spurs ranks from 1992 before moving to Layer Road; while goalkeeper Cranstone also played for our youth side and was a pro by April, 1975, ahead of his move to Colchester.
And former Scotland and Manchester United defender Stewart Houston concluded his career with three years at Colchester and was then first team coach at Tottenham under George Graham’s management from March, 1999, until March, 2001.
During World War Two, our 1951 title-winning striker Len Duquemin played briefly for Colchester as did fellow Spurs striker Johnny Westwood. Former United player Ken Burditt guested for us during the conflict as did winger Jack Finch who moved to Colchester from Fulham in August, 1946.
More recently, former Academy graduate Kane Vincent-Young joined the U's in 2014.
By John Fennelly