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Jon Waldron: My views on the U's
Footballers come and go; very few stand the test of time.
Peter Wright is one of the select few who will.
The legacy of the flying winger, arguably Colchester United’s finest-ever player, will burn brightly long after his death, at the age of 78.
Peter left his own inimitable mark on the U’s throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, with his skill and trickery, majestic heading ability and devastating pace.
Although only part-time professional, he was utterly devoted to Colchester, even passing up the opportunity to join the likes of Birmingham City in his pomp.
Some say he may even had gone on to represent England, had he chosen to abandon the U’s for a bigger club.
The fact that he chose not to speaks volumes for Peter’s loyalty and love for Colchester, something that remained until the end.
Perhaps that is why he was voted Colchester United’s greatest-ever player in a special club poll conducted in 2000.
How he would have loved to have seen Joe Dunne’s attractive current U’s side, who wore black armbands in Peter’s memory in their match against Shrewsbury Town, on Saturday.
Peter frequently bemoaned to me the lack of wingers in the modern game, wondering why more coaches did not play with more width.
He would surely have been delighted to have seen the way the likes of Sanchez Watt and Gavin Massey have been terrorising full-backs, over recent weeks.
Peter was a great friend of the Daily Gazette, often popping into our office in North Hill to say hello and enthusiastically helping us out with information on former U’s players he cared so deeply about.
He enjoyed pulled my leg about my chosen profession, regularly teasing me that I was on the lookout for a scoop.
What a joy it would have been to have sat in the press box and watched him play, dashing down the wing in full flight.
More importantly, though, it was a joy to know Peter as a person.
He left his special mark on me, like he did so many others.
He will be sadly missed.