TODAY is the 16th anniversary of Colchester United's historic promotion.

In 2006, Phil Parkinson's U's side clinched Championship status with a 0-0 draw at Yeovil Town.

Colchester secured a magnificent promotion to English football’s second tier for the first time in their history.

Their 0-0 draw at Yeovil on May 6, 2006 was enough to clinch them runners-up spot in League One and earn them a place in the Championship for the first time ever.

There were memorable scenes on the final whistle at Huish Park, as the jubilant U's players, staff and supporters celebrated.

"It was a very scrappy game, with very few chances," said former U's midfielder Kevin Watson, speaking to the Gazette in 2020.

"What I do clearly remember is getting brought down and thinking it was a stonewall penalty.

"It wasn't a great game but we did the job and it was an amazing feeling, at the end.


"It was like an FA Cup game, with all of the blue and white and yellow colours behind the goal where our fans were.

"It was packed; I remember everyone wanting our socks, boots, tops and signed shirts and everything else, at the end - we left the pitch half dressed!

"Our fans played their part on that day, like they had done in every game that season.

"I don't think we left the stadium until gone 7pm - I was telling everyone to hurry up so we could go out and celebrate!

"We ended up heading out in Colchester about 11pm that night, including Parky and the coaching staff."


It was a game of few chances at Yeovil but the U's point was enough to secure them promotion to the Championship.

“It was probably the worst game of football of the season, if I’m honest,” said U's legend Karl Duguid.

“It wasn’t a great one to play in but it was fantastic when that final whistle went.

“Dannsy (Neil Danns) had a chance to run it into the corner at one point and he chose to have a shot and we all had a go at him and said ‘we have seconds left - just keep the ball!’

“We had a job to do that day and everybody that played, did what they had to do.”

Parkinson left shortly after that season to take over as Hull City manager and was replaced by his assistant manager, Geraint Williams.

Colchester went on to finish tenth in the Championship the following season, which remains the highest-ever finish in the club's history.

In 2014, Parkinson was named as the U’s greatest manager by the club’s fans in a poll conducted as part of The Football League's 125th Anniversary celebrations.