COLCHESTER United general manager Tim Waddington is hoping their new-look home strip will prove to be an ‘iconic’ one for the club.

The U’s have ditched their familiar blue and white stripes for the forthcoming season in favour of blue shirts with a white collar and lighter blue pinstripes, along with blue shorts and white socks.

The new strip, which was unveiled at the club’s annual Open Day, is a nod to the kit worn by Dick Graham’s side in Colchester’s famous 3-2 FA Cup victory over Leeds United, in 1971.

Waddington says the U’s wanted to ‘freshen things up’ with their new home strip but at the same time, keep their identity as they target League Two promotion.

Waddington told the Gazette: “Seeing the players come out with the shirt on for the team photograph, I think it looks strong.

“They look great in the kit and if we can get the results, it will be an iconic shirt.

“The shirt is going away from what we’ve been used to – but I don’t think it’s going away from what we’ve had.

“It’s a nod towards that very famous shirt we had back in 1971.

“I think it was just a case of freshening it up – something that gives a little bit more flavour to the identity.

“We’re not afraid to try new things or to push boundaries a little bit.

“As a club, we’ve had all blue shirts, we’ve had all white shirts, we’ve had blue with a little bit on them, we’ve had white with a little bit on them.

“This is blue with a bit of a stripe on it and it has a touch of white too so there’s still definitely a strong flavour of Col U - just a different flavour.”

Waddington says both the club’s new home and away kits proved very popular at the Open Day, which took place at the JobServe Community Stadium on Sunday.

“We didn’t really know whether fans would love it or loathe it but the proof in the pudding is in the eating and sales (at the Open Day) would indicate that the fans love it,” he said.

“There was an awful lot of shirts being worn and it’s probably the record sale in terms of a launch day that we’ve had.

“I would guess fans love it, which is great news.

“The away shirt is the one we always have a bit of fun with and we’ve kept the camouflage theme, this year.

“The feedback has been superb and it’s a very strong looking kit.

“You can be a little more risky with the away kit and we’ll try and do something a little bit different.

“I think it looks great – the players like it, the fans are wearing it – it has to be a winner.

“If this year’s away kit and emulate last year’s, it will be great.

“Last year’s away kit was the best-selling away kit we’ve had in the ten years we’ve had at the stadium – I think we had to reorder it three times.

“Looking at the sales for this away kit, I can see us placing a top-up order before Christmas and if that continues, we’ll be fine.”