POP superstar Olly Murs says Colchester holds a special place in his heart as he prepares for a huge Essex homecoming gig in Castle Park this August Bank Holiday.

Olly, 37, who shot to fame on the sixth series of ITV’s X Factor, will return to gig in the town this month for the first time since his massive headline show at Colchester United’s Jobserve Community Stadium in 2017.

He told the Gazette in an exclusive interview he has many fond memories of Colchester from his youth visiting regular from his home in Witham, as well as from throughout his decorated musical career.

He said: “Colchester is a place I grew up in.

“Living in Witham I was in between Colchester and Chelmsford so most weekends I would spend my time in Colchester.

“I have had many amazing nights out in Colchester and obviously I’ve played shows in Colchester in the past.

“I chose the town for my homecoming gig on the X Factor.

“Colchester is amazing. It is a great place to be for me.

“I cannot wait to play in Castle Park, it is going to be phenomenal.

“I have been touted to do a gig there for quite some time.

“People have asked me before to come and the fact we are getting it over the line is amazing.”

He added: “The last gig I played in Colchester was at the football stadium in 2017, which was an amazing show.”

The Castle Park show is part of Olly’s 25 date tour spanning 2021 and 2022 in support of his triple platinum album Never Been Better.

The tour is the first time he’s been able to perform for fans in a long time, with coronavirus restrictions curtailing almost all gigs for about 16 months.

“Touring again and being on stage again is the best thing ever and it is amazing seeing the fans again,” he said.

“Doing a show in Essex is a special thing for me.

“My family and friends will all be there and my friend Mark Wright will be supporting me doing the radio and DJing.

“We’ll be playing lots of fan favourites and all the hits people know. Old songs and new songs.

“There’ll also be a mixture of covers and everything as well.

“I am really happy with the set and there’s bags of energy and bags of fun.”

After waiting so long to get back on the road, Olly nearly suffered a cruel blow late last month when during a gig at Newmarket Racecourse he injured himself on stage.

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In a freak accident, a fragment of bone became lodged in the back of his knee after he jumped into the air.

Gazette: Olly in hospitalOlly in hospital

Revealing the news on Instagram to his 3.6 million followers, Olly said it had been a “mad 72 hours” but he was determined to keep gigging.

Luckily after surgery and some rest and recuperation at home in Essex, he said there was no doubt in his mind the Colchester gig, and the rest of the tour, would go ahead.

He said: “The injury was a bit of a blow but it was great to be back out there singing. I cannot wait to do it again.

“My knee is getting there slowly but surely.

“The operation and surgery went well and I am icing it at the moment.

“I am resting it in preparation for getting back out there.

“I know my knee is sore but hopefully it will improve every day.

“I am hoping that by the time I get to August 29 my knee will be fully back in action and I’m hoping to play at Soccer Aid in September.”

Tickets for the show in Colchester Castle Park, which takes place on Sunday, August 29, start from £39.50 plus a booking fee, and are still available to buy online.

VIP packages are also on offer for superfans.

Gates open at 4pm with support acts set to take to the stage before Olly.

The full schedule is set to be released next Monday.

Visit colchester-events.co.uk/ollymurs for more information.

Tickets are still available to purchase for the concert from Ticketmaster.co.uk or LHGtickets.com.