FORMER Colchester United defender Greg Halford is offering to play for free to get his career up and running again.

The versatile 35-year-old, who won a historic promotion with the U's under Phil Parkinson in 2006, is a free agent and is currently without a team.

It has been more than year since Halford left Aberdeen, in the summer of 2019.

The experienced utility man, who came through the youth ranks at Colchester and has made more than 500 league appearances for a variety of clubs.

He is training with an EFL club but is currently a free agent - prompting him to take the unusual step of offering his services for free to perspective clubs.

Writing on social media website LinkedIn, he said: “If there any clubs out there looking for an experienced and motivated player with over 500 league appearances, I’m willing to play for free up to January,

“I’ve had a pre-season with a club and trained everyday since and still training now, so I’m fit and ready to go into a team.

“My hunger is as strong as ever and willing to do anything to get my career up and running again.”

Having started as a trainee at Layer Road, Halford was handed his U's debut by Parkinson in 2003 and went on to become a firm favourite in North Essex.

The England under-20 international had caught the eye for the U's with a string of dazzling performances under Parkinson and then, Geraint Williams.

Halford clocked up 165 league and cup appearances for Colchester but eventually left to move to then Premier League side Reading for £2.5m, in the summer of 2007.

It is still the highest fee the U’s have ever received for one of their players.

He went on to play for the likes of Sunderland, Charlton Athletic, Wolves, Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth, Rotherham United and Cardiff City.

Halford has enjoyed a successful career and has played most of his football at Championship level, making more than 300 appearances in the second tier.

Speaking to the Gazette in June, 2019, Halford said he still follows the U's fortunes.

He said: “Colchester is where everything started for me.

"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."