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Looking back to Colchester United’s biggest years in the transfer market, not many stand out as much as the 2007/08 season does. But it’s quite interesting to note that, unlike most of the current teams in League Two, the Oysters have been quite busy buying players in the more recent years and many of their top purchases are actually still quite fresh.
The record and the following two behind it, however, are all from the 2007/08 campaign. At the very top of the pile we have Chris Coyne who arrived from Luton Town for a club-record fee of £473,000. But that same season, the Oysters also brought in Philip Ifil from Tottenham Hotspur for £428,000 and Clive Plat from Milton Keynes Dons for £405,000.
But that’s not all either – five of the top ten transfers at the club were done that same season and in those top ten, there isn’t a single one that happened before that year, signaling that most of them are still quite fresh indeed.
All that spending, however, was made possible by great sales a year prior to that. In 2006/07, Colchester United sold Greg Halford to Reading FC for a reported fee of £4m, setting a new record at the club, and also Neil Danns to Birmingham City for £1m. Those two are still their first and third most expensive sales to date.
The second place belongs to Lomana LuaLua who joined Newcastle for £3.3m in 2000/01 as a 19-year-old forward, setting a record on his own back then, before it was ultimately broken by Halford some years later.
And those three transfers are the only three that eclipsed the one-million-pound mark at the club.
It’s difficult to talk about the Oysters without mentioning Tony Adcock – of course, the star forward had started his career at the club before moving on in the late ‘80s but the return of the prodigal son in 1995 was still a massive transfer for the club.
And we can’t forget Jamie Cureton who arrived having already stepped into his 30s and didn’t stay for too long but still made quite a racket along the way. Then there is LuaLua, who was fantastic on the ball and was sold for a then-club-record fee to Newcastle.
Halford, their biggest sale ever, should also get a nod on this list and so should Coyne, their marquee signing in the 2006/07 campaign.