The Sound of Football: Colchester United (Andrew)

Every fortnight we cover the best and worst football songs from every club in the UK from our book ‘The Sound Of Football: Every Club, Every Song’. You can buy it here

Colchester United

Nickname: The U’s

Ground: Weston Homes Community Stadium

Stadium Capacity: 10,105

Song: Up The U’s

If you are interested in alternative music, then one name will immediately come to mind: Steve Lamacq.

Steve’s tireless championing of new music on his long-running shows on Radio 1 and Radio 6 Music has delivered the first UK radio exposure for Oasis, Coldplay, and every guitar band who’s emerged on the UK alternative music scene in the last 20 years. In-between attending hundreds of gigs each year, Steve has another love: Colchester FC. On 23 January 2006, he combined both passions by playing the team’s anthem ‘Up the U’s’ on Radio 1’s Evening Session.

The song is ironic: Colchester is the setting for the famous nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. During the English Civil War, a sniper known as Humpty Dumpty, due to his large size, sat in the belfry of a church (Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall.) He was shot down (Humpty Dumpty had a great fall) and, shortly after, the town was overrun by Parliamentarians (all the king’s horses and all the king’s men/couldn’t put Humpty together again), which is why, instead of singing ‘Up the U’s, an appropriate fairy tale ending for Colchester would find them falling down the divisions.

The club has had moderate success. With a population of just over 100k, it has punched above its weight and regularly features in the top half of League 1. Its greatest achievement was a victory over Don Revie’s all-conquering Leeds United side of the 1970s. A result that put all of the Colchester players involved into the club’s player hall of fame.

The club anthem is ‘Up the U’s’, and Colchester based punk band Special Duties has recorded the song twice.

Special Duties was originally called X-pelled, but they switched names when a box of badges with “Special Duties” printed on them ‘came into their possession’. Allegedly the badges were stolen from a local Colchester school. They changed their name to fit the badges rather than print more badges with X-Pelled written on them.

Buy the Sound of Football from Amazon.

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