United commenced their 1961-62 campaign by going unbeaten in their first nine League games and scored 31 goals in the first eight home games to top the Fourth Division.
Tragedy struck in October 1961.Whilst The U's were playing at York the young son of full-back Tommy Millar drowned in a garden pond accident. Colchester failed to win any of their next five games and slipped to third in the table.
After a Boxing Day 4-1 defeat at Bradford City, United set their club record victory in the return fixture with The Bantams on 30 December 1961. Both Martyn King and his strike partner Bobby Hunt scored four goals each, and Bobby Hill one, as The U's ran out 9-1 winners. A 4-0 win at Accrington Stanley saw United regain top spot from Wrexham, but within weeks Accrington folded and United's 3-2 and 4-0 wins were wiped from the records.
Losing at Millwall and drawing at Wrexham cost United the championship. Millwall took the title by one point from runners-up Colchester with 11 defeats on the road costing the U's dearly. Amongst U's record 104 League goals scored, 78 of them at Layer Road, King broke his own seasonal record with 31 only to be outdone by partner Bobby Hunt who bagged a new record 38 League goals including three hat-tricks - two of which were four goal hauls.
Stability was the key with just 17 players used and eight of those played over 40 of the 44 games possible. Support was slightly up with an average of 5,341 although the 50 year local disparity reached one of its peaks when Ipswich won the First Division championship.