June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Carl Marston
Friday, June 22, 2012
In the last instalment of our seven-part series, we talk to ex-striker Steve McGavin, who reckons that the promotion secured 20 years ago was a pivotal moment in the club’s history
STEVE McGavin cannot over-emphasise the importance of Colchester United’s non-league double triumph of 20 years ago.
In fact, McGavin stresses that the U’s would not be playing in a plush new stadium, or plying their trade in the third tier of the Football League, without the successes of the class of 1991-92.
To take it one step further, McGavin even doubts whether the U’s would still be operating as a professional outfit.
Former talented front-runner McGavin insisted: “I think if we hadn’t come up that season (1991-92), then I genuinely don’t think this club would be in this stadium today.
“At that time, literally the double almost kept the club alive.
“I know at the time Peter Heard (future owner and chairman) started to get involved, but you would have had to question what would have happened if we had not gone up.
“I’m sure a lot of that team would have broken up anyway, and I’m not sure where the club would be.
“Back then, there were only two or three full-time teams in the Conference. That was obviously a massive advantage for us.
“If we’d stayed another year in the Conference, it would have been very hard to get out, because you had other teams like Wycombe, who were getting stronger and stronger.
“I think it was a pivotal part in the club’s history,” added McGavin.
Former Ipswich Town apprentice McGavin, now aged 43, scored goals at a prolific rate for non-league Sudbury Town before his £10,000 switch to Colchester during Ian Atkins’ era, towards the end of the club’s first season in the Conference.
He went on to make 47 appearances in the Conference, and then played 133 games in the Football League for the U’s during two different spells, as well as enjoying stays at Birmingham City (£150,000 fee in early 1994), Wycombe Wanderers and Southend. He later turned out for Dagenham & Redbridge, and Bury Town.