Colchester United Football Club have experienced their fair share of ups and downs, over the last 80 years.

And the chances are that many of their triumphs, trials and tribulations since their formation back in 1937 feature in 'On This #Colu Day', a new book written by historian, statistician and long-time U’s supporter Graeson Laitt.

The book, written in diary form, details the events, matches and players that have shaped the U’s history, with at least one entry for each day of the calendar year.

There are promotions and relegations, cup glory and embarrassment, legendary players and one-game wonders.

Graeson, who was first taken to watch a Colchester United match by his father in 1982, said: “I don’t think people will read it all the way through but everyone has a special date that they look for and generally, everyone looks at their birth date.

“I hope that there are lots of things in the book that are interesting to people.

“And even if they’re not huge Colchester United fans, there will be things that they will remember.”

There are certainly plenty of Colchester favourites mentioned, with the likes of Bobby Hunt, Tony Adcock, Peter Wright and Lomana Lua Lua all featuring.

But it is the quirkier side of the book, which includes more than 800 entries, that is arguably the most alluring.

“Everything in the book has a Colchester United connection and every single day is covered,” said Graeson, who watches the U’s from the South Stand at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

“The book covers great matches and nightmare matches, great players and those not so good, players making international appearances.

“There are also well-known players who feature against Colchester.

“For example, there’s references to Rodney Marsh scoring four goals in a big win for QPR at Layer Road and a 16-year-old Trevor Francis.

“The summer period of June, July and August was generally a bit tricky, obviously because there’s not so much football being played at that time.

“It was a case in that instance of casting my mind a bit further afield.

“For example, former Colchester loanee Craig Forrest played for Canada on July 18, 1993 in the Azteca against Mexico.

“Then there’s the account for July 24, which features one of Colchester United’s greatest-ever strikers Arthur Turner being rescued from the Bay of Biscay after being fired on by a German U-boat, in 1943.

“There’s even tragedy, too.

“There’s an account of a player being killed on the Layer Road pitch when he was playing for an invitational side, against a Colchester junior XI.”

Graeson admits producing the book was a labour of love, with countless hours of research put in.

But the former Colchester Boys’ High School pupil says it was all worth it, in the end.

He said: “I had the information through my statistical archive called Coludata and I’d seen that the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Essex Cricket Club had produced a similar kind of book, so I thought about the possibility of putting something together on a similar theme for Colchester United.

“It turned out to be much more complicated than I initially thought and the original was much longer, so it had to be cut down.

“But it’s very satisfying seeing it in print now and they do say that everyone has a book in them.

“To have the first box load of books and to see it at the Red Lion bookshop was great.

“Hopefully, there’s something there for everyone.”

‘On This #Colu Day' by Graeson Laitt is priced at £12 and can be purchased online at or at Red Lion Bookshop in Colchester High Street.