In the 20 years (yes its really that long) I've run this site, I've never been one to share my personal life on here or to ask for money. But I'm going to break both rules today ...
Some of you may recall that at the beginning of the season I was looking to take a step back from running this site. The reason why, though I didn't mention it at the time, was because I was soon to become a dad.
On 14 October my son was born but sadly he died unexpectedly the same day.
We named him Lucas and he was very much going to be the next generation ColU supporter. His name had a ColU influence, Luke being the most common name in the U's, including the captain's, and just weeks before he was born we beat Spurs with the help of a missed penalty by Lucas Moura.
It's been a tough seven months since. At my first game back there was an announcement over the PA congratulating someone on the birth of their son. Then at later games someone has been bringing a baby to the game in a car seat. Things I genuinely have never seen or heard before this happened, but painfully stand out when you try and escape your life by going to a game. I went to Old Trafford, but my mind was very much not on the occasion.
Anyway, back to me asking for money. My wife and I have decided to raise funds for baby bereavement charities in memory of Lucas and I wanted to share this with you all.
As many of you may have noticed, I've not been putting too much effort into the site in recent years. I started running the site nearly 20 years ago (in fact 1st August 2019 will be its 20th birthday!) when I was young and keen, but now life gets in the way and I simply don't have the time to keep on top of it.
Being the only unofficial ColU website around I don't want to shut it down and would love to see it continue, so I'm looking to you guys to help keep it going. I am happy to remain 'in charge' and do site admin but would basically be looking for people to produce content for the site and moderate the forum (not that much of that is required these days now Pete is off the scene).
There wouldn't be any financial reward - despite the advertisements, unsurprisingly a Colchester United website doesn't get millions of hits (a bit like ColU news in the EADT!), so it just about makes enough to cover running costs.
If you'd like to get involved, either post a reply or message me direct. I'm already thinking Durham's previews deserve a place on the front page. There's the option for any of you to do a blog if you like, plus I'm open to suggestions. Personally I'd like the time to kick start the 'whatever happened to' articles again.
As you will have seen, IowaPete/BarsidePete has reapeared on the board as DCPete, having been banned since February last year.
I have not allowed Pete to return and the first I was aware of this was when I saw posts earlier today, just like the rest of you.
I don't feel it's my place to say whether or not he can return, so i'm oppening this up to the rest of you with a poll. It's anonymous, so don't feel that you will be judged by your selection. I'll close the poll at 7pm on Monday.
In the meantime, Pete is free to post, but will be banned immediately if he steps out of line.
Saw this on the Football Supporters Federation newsletter this week and thought it share...
"Fans hit out at Gov't on standing Sports Minister rejects proposals for safe standing pilot at Hawthorns This week West Bromwich Albion had their application to install more than 3,000 rail seats in the Smethwick End of the Hawthorns rejected by the Sports Minister Tracey Crouch. Compounding the disappointment of the decision, Crouch told PA that she wanted to see current regulations, prohibiting persistent standing, more strictly enforced and labelled those campaigning for change to the legislation a "vocal minority". The minister's comments caused a backlash from supporters and industry figures, which resulted in a safe standing petition becoming the fastest growing on the Government's official petition page this week - passing 43,000 signatures at the time of writing."
Yesterday was 46 years since our famous giant killing. Does the result still have the same sparkle these days, what with topflight clubs not taking the competition seriously these days and Leeds not being the club they once were?
I have reluctantly pressed the big red BAN button. I say reluctantly as the board has always been good at moderating itself and I had hoped Pete would have got the message from other users and reined in his posts.
Away from the board I had warned him and naively trusted him when he said he was going to remove himself from the board and/or only post on topic.
I'm not sure if this will be a permanent or temporary ban. I may leave this for you to decide by way of a poll. For now though, I apologise that I left it so long to put a stop to his nonsense.
Having a quick skim through the teams left in, these are my preferences:
1 Watford - Maybe 2 West Bromwich Albion or Bristol City - No 3 West Ham United - Yes 4 Derby County - No 5 Exeter City or Liverpool - Maybe 6 Tottenham Hotspur or Leicester City - Yes 8 Peterborough United - No 9 Northampton Town or Milton Keynes Dons - No 10 Arsenal - Yes 11 Newport County or Blackburn Rovers - No 12 Ipswich Town or Portsmouth - Maybe 13 AFC Bournemouth - No 14 Wycombe Wanderers or Aston Villa - Maybe 15 Sheffield Wednesday - No 16 Oxford United - Maybe 17 Walsall - No 18 Bury or Bradford City - No 19 Manchester United - Yes 20 Everton - Yes 21 Crystal Palace - Yes 22 Eastleigh or Bolton Wanderers - No 23 Nottingham Forest - No 24 Carlisle United or Yeovil Town - No 25 Chelsea - Yes 26 Stoke City - Maybe 27 Leeds United - No 28 Shrewsbury Town - No 29 Huddersfield Town or Reading - No 30 Burnley - No 31 Manchester City - Yes 32 Hull City - No