IT remains one of Colchester United's boldest signings in their history.

On this day back in 2007, Teddy Sheringham put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the U's.

At 41 years old, it's safe to say that Sheringham was in the twilight of his glittering career when he arrived at the U's on a free transfer from West Ham United, ahead of the 2007-08 season.

However, the evergreen striker, who had already achieved so much with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in addition to the international stage with England, made it abundantly clear to the assembled media that he still had plenty to offer in the Championship, with his new club.

"I want to play and have a burning ambition," said Sheringham.

"A couple of weeks ago I spoke to manager Geraint Williams and I was very impressed with his plans for the club and what he knew about me as a player and how he plans to use me during the season."


Sheringham was certainly a landmark signing for Colchester, who had lost several players that summer following their magnificent maiden season in the Championship.

The arrival of the Champions League winner generated a huge amount of excitement among U's fans, who saw the former England international make his competitive debut for the club in their 2-2 draw at Sheffield United in their opening game of the campaign.

Sheringham bagged his first goal in their colours when he struck home a second-half penalty in their 3-0 triumph at Preston North End, in their third game of the season.

Indeed, he started Colchester's opening five league matches but after featuring in the U's starting line-up in their 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic in mid-September, injuries began to limit his involvement.

It did not help that the former Spurs striker was sent off in the closing stages of a 1-0 defeat at Coventry City in late October.

Indeed, Sheringham's next start for Colchester came at Hillsborough, where he netted in the opening seconds of a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday on December 1.

But despite featuring heavily for Williams' side in December, the experienced forward's appearances became scarcer in the second half of the campaign.

Sheringham scored Colchester's consolation goal in their 3-1 FA Cup defeat at the hands of Peterborough United at Layer Road, in early January, 2008.


It proved to be his final goal for the U's - and the last one of his illustrious career.

Sheringham's final start for Colchester came in a 2-1 win over Preston North End on February 12, 2008.

A foot injury hindered him after that, leading to him announcing his retirement on March 1, 2008 at the age of 42, after a quarter of a century in the game and more than 900 league and cup appearances under his belt.

He said: "After a long and fun-filled career I have decided that this season will be my last.

"I've had a fantastic time and want to thank all those that have contributed to my career and helped me along the way.

"I've no immediate thoughts about going into management but football has always been my life and hopefully I will be back at some point in the future.

"Until then. I have to try and help Colchester United stay in the Coca-Cola Championship."

Sadly, he was unable to do so; Sheringham played his last professional game in already-relegated Colchester's penultimate match of the season against Stoke City, the final match to ever be played at Layer Road.

He made 20 appearances for the U's, scoring four goals.

When he spoke to the Gazette after that match against Stoke, the former Manchester United man admitted he was bitterly disappointed to suffer relegation - but insisted he had no regrets about signing for Colchester.


"At the start of the season, I thought we had a chance of making the play-offs," he said.

"So you can imagine the disappointment in the players and the staff to think that we're getting relegated.

"I really thought we had a good chance and the fact that a lot of other Championship teams would like our players proves it.

"That makes it even more disappointing that we had a good team but things didn't happen for us.

"I'm very disappointed with the way it's gone but I've had a lot of good ones over the years and I suppose it just tells me that's the right time to retire.

"And I don't regret coming to Colchester United.

"The lads are great here, the manager is a very nice man and he's talked me through everything he's been doing this year and looked after me.

"It's just that I couldn't produce and we couldn't produce as a team and that's the disappointing thing."

After a spell on West Ham United's coaching staff, Sheringham managed Stevenage alongside former U's team-mate Kevin Watson between May 2015 and February, 2016.

He was also manager of Indian Super League club ATK.