GREG Halford has refused to rule out a return to Colchester United before he eventually hangs up his boots.

The versatile 34-year-old is a free agent this summer, having left Aberdeen following the expiry of his contract at the Scottish Premiership club.

Halford clocked up 165 league and cup appearances for the U’s and helped them secure a historic promotion to the Championship, in 2006.

He left to join Reading for £2.5m in 2007 - still the highest fee the U’s have ever received for one of their players – but more than a decade on, the well-travelled former Colchester youth-teamer says anything is possible in the future.

Halford told the Gazette: “I look out for Colchester’s results – there’s a few clubs that I look out for!

“I’ve still got family down here and I’m always in and around the area.

“I drive past the stadium most weekends – maybe one day.

“I’m looking to carry on my career.

“I’m out of contract at Aberdeen now and I’ll definitely be looking to play, so who knows?”

Halford was back in a Colchester shirt again recently as part of their successful 2005-06 squad that took on their Southend United counterparts in the Sid Broomfield Trophy charity game, at Roots Hall.

The U’s were led by their former boss Phil Parkinson, who guided them to promotion to the Championship in their memorable 2005-06 campaign.

“Colchester is where everything started for me,” added Halford, who has played for the likes of Wolves, Sunderland and Charlton Athletic since leaving the U’s.

“I felt a lot of pride to put the shirt back on and to be asked to come back and be a part of the game, so it was very good.

“We exchanged stories from back in the day about that promotion season and that season in the Championship, as well.

“It was nice to see Phil (Parkinson) again and I played under him at both Colchester and Charlton.

“He gave me my debut in football so I owe a lot him and the other players around me at the time.

“We had a lot of experienced players at Colchester at the time and they helped me along – I owe a lot to them.

“Raising money for charity was the main cause and it was a good turnout from the fans but it was a bonus to come back and play with the lads again.”