The U’s manager is making plenty of changes behind the scenes to make the stadium feel more like home…there are things we want to do to give the club an identity and make it feel more like home than it does at the moment. – Club Chairman & Owner, Robbie Cowling, June 2009.
Vital Colchester understands that the group of fans behind a campaign to see Dick Graham recognised at WHCS are meeting with the club and CUSA on July 22.
The campaign started earlier this summer when options were being discussed by supporters over at on the club`s official website message board. They aim is to improve the atmosphere at the now year-old Community Stadium and Graham`s name was first mooted as a man most worthy of recognising.
Supporters suggested that the former manager, architect behind the U`s famous 3-2 F.A. Cup win over a then mighty Leeds United, have his own stand at the stadium, in place of what is currently called the West Stand.
In response to a letter, Colchester United`s Chief Executive, Steve Bradshaw replied outlining the club`s unwillingness to honour just a single legend and particularly not by renaming the West Stand in case of causing long-term commercial conflicts.
Potential alternative options, such as a bronze statue, will be considered at the meeting and could cost the club itself a minimal amount if – as a poster online posts out – it is subsidised through a National Lottery Grant.
The precise details for the meeting, such as who can attend and where it will be held, have as yet not been fully publicised.
The full reply from CE, Steve Bradshaw,received July 7:
Thank you for your letter dated May 21st, 2009 concerning the possibility of providing a permanent tribute for Dick Graham at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
The club would like to explore with the CUSA the opportunities available to acknowledge Mr Graham’s achievements at Colchester United, whilst bearing in mind the many other individuals who have played their part in our past, for example Micky Cook (top appearance maker) and Geraint Williams (best league finish in the club’s history).
Whilst the football club is concerned that a permanent naming of a stand may interfere with future commercial contracts at the stadium, we are keen to recognise Mr Graham and are currently discussing the options that we feel relevant.
A number of ideas have been put forward and it is a case of finding the most pertinent commemoration of his work.
Please be assured this is a matter we wish to resolve as soon as possible.
It is often the case that it takes time for a stadium to develop character and identity…it takes two or three years usually but I want it now. – Club Chairman and owner, Robbie Cowling, June 2009.
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