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Memory Lane 50 Years ago Today- 1971-72 Promotion Season - Wednesday 3 May 1972 - We finish as runners up! - Southend United 2 Gillingham 2

Billy Bests boot laces

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In my opinion it was at the mighty Blues ((of course).

He was a big influence on my centre forward play back in the day…..and interestingly (for me anyway) my recollection is that he joined us as a full back……perhaps someone can confirm or deny…..
Yes, he was here between 1960-63, before my time!.
 

LBBlue

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In my opinion it was at the mighty Blues ((of course).

He was a big influence on my centre forward play back in the day…..and interestingly (for me anyway) my recollection is that he joined us as a full back……perhaps someone can confirm or deny…..
Jim played for Southend in the early 60s , he played 60 odd games and scored 20 goals . I think he payed at Southport as well as a few other clubs .

Quite a few clubs!

He also scored the famous 4 second goal whist at Bradford PA.
I think he was always a centre forward - scored 16 goals in 31 games in 60/61 but did play a few games at full back for us at the end of 61/62.

He often scored against us.

Jim passed away in June 2020 in Las Vegas.

1957–1960Charlton Athletic5(3)
1960–1963Southend United61(24)
1963–1966Bradford Park Avenue101(38)
1966–1967Southport39(15)
1967Torquay United27(11)
1967–1968Stockport County44(28)
1968–1970Blackburn Rovers37(5)
1970–1971Oldham Athletic76(40)
1971–1974Southport108(24)
1973Philadelphia Atoms (loan)18(7)
1974Philadelphia Atoms20(8)
1974Stockport County1(1)
1974–1975Torquay United4(0)
1975Hartford Bicentennials6(1)
1975Philadelphia Atoms5(0)
 

sufc_statto

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Friday October 01, 1971 - Division 4
Southend Utd (0) 2 (Garner 59', Albeson 66')
Southport (0) 1 (Field 72')
Venue: Roots Hall KO: 7.30
Attendance: 10,316

Southend Utd: J Roberts, R Ternent, A Smith, D Elliott, B Albeson, J Jacques, T Johnson, B Best, B Garner, G Moore, B Lewis. Sub: K Lindsey.
Southport: A Taylor, D Turner, B Sibbald, J McPhee, C Dunleavy, G Sharples, F Lee (T Field 70'), M Hartland, E Redrobe, N Lloyd, B Hartle.

Match Report
An excellent performance and an excellent result sent 10,316 United fans away happy from Roots Hall on Friday night. It was the biggest home gate of the season and a continuance of this form will ensure even bigger takings in the future, writes Alt Smirk.

While the result was most vitally important, not far behind in terms of crowd appreciation was the manner in which it was achieved.

Against felIow promotion aspirants, it was obvious this was going to be far from a push-over, yet even during a goalless first half there was enough interest to keep the spectators happy.

A combined assault for the first 20 minines of the second half which gave Blues a two-goal lead was what they had all paid their money to see. Their interest and involvement became even greater when the visitors pulled back a goal but never, apart from suicidal tendencies, was United’s superiority and eventual victory in any real doubt.

The first 45 minutes of non-scoring stalemate was due entirely to two magnificent defences. But whereas United’s back four looked likely to submit only by accident, their designs up front were only frustrated by the dour tactics of the opposing rear line.

On territorial advantage and ascendancy alone, United could well have been a couple of goals in front at the interval, but goal-keeper Alan Taylor, Chris Dunleavy and his co-defenders, deserved full marks for still being in with a chance at the hallway stage.

It was a different tale immediately after the resumption. And one felt that Manager Arthur Rowley had voiced some caustic comments during the break. Always dangerous when attacking down the line, United had failed to use this ploy enough in the first half, but on the restart, Bernie Lewis and Terry Johnson were brought more and more into the picture.

And this continual attacking around the flanks to get in behind the opposing back four paid big dividends.

As both Lewis and Johnson , resorted to a natural wingers’ game, the Southport defenders conceded corner after corner to relieve the pressure. But, as was eventually proved, safety corners are not always as safe as they might appear to be.

United skipper Joe Jacques flighted a free-kick into the Southport penalty area in the 59th minute and Bob Sibbald took the line of least resistance and put the ball behind for the umpteeth corner. But this time, Terry Johnson’s flag-kick was met perfectly by Bill Garner’s head to power the ball high into the roof of the net. A real picture goal!

It was from another “safety” corner seven minutes later, the third of a series in less than a minute, that Blues went further ahead. This time, Johnson’s kick was only partially cleared and Brian Albeson, lurking on the edge of the area, crashed his shot a through a crowd of players into the net for his first goal for the club.

United were by now well on top and it came as a surprise when Southport got back into the game when they reduced the arrears in the 72nd minute. Tony Field, their most prolific scorer, had been kept on the substitute’s bench probably as a precaution after being injured at Aldershot two days previously. But brought on for Francis Lee, he had been on the park only two minutes when his ‘ shot front 20 yards was deflected past John Roberts.

With visions of a point from nothing, Southport hit back for the equaliser but their threat was short-lived. United soon settled down again and were in complete command again before the end.

They were still on the attack just before the whistle went when Johnson’s piledriver from the corner of the box scraped the crossbar on its way over.

All-in-all, a grand performance. There still just a little touch of uncertainty at the back when the ball is runnIng clear across the United penalty area as to whose job it is to do what. Otherwise the defence is stronger than it has been for many seasons.

Jacques and Albeson have resumed an understanding they had when playing together with Darlington, while Ray Ternent and Alex Smith on their flanks are both overlapping and recovering quickly to the advantage of everyone.

Dave Elliott and Gary Moore provide strength and power in midfield, although Eiliott’s distribution sometimes lets him down, and Moore, alter a long string of injuries and illness needs about another month to recover a lost yard of mobility.

The front line Is going better than it has ever done, thanks mainly to the penetration of the two wingers playing as such. With Lewis and Johnson capable of taking on any defence in the division, the command of Bill Garner in the air for their crosses and the nip of Billy Best on to half-chances, United should finish the season well up with the highest goal-scorers.

The result was most important from everybody’s point of view because it wasn’t achieved against a “mug” side. Southport could stiII be well in the running for honours when the season ends. It was most rewarding for Untied as it was their first League victory against Southport in five meetings.

League Table
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Garner heads first goal
1633075747239.png

...and the fans celebrate
1633075796947.png
 

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LBBlue

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The fans will support a winning team!
After 5 games without defeat, the Roots Hall attendances climbed
Bury 5,171
Grimsby 6,310
Newport 7,154
Southport 10,316

Friday night football was pulling them in. We were unchanged for the 4th game running.

Southport had played at Aldershot on the Wednesday and their leading goalscorer, Tony Field, started on the bench. They also had the mighty Eric Redrobe - a chunky 6 footer.
Players were much shorter 50 years ago so a six footer stood out.

Field and Redrobe had scored14 goals between them in their first 9 games. Southport had scored 4 goals in each of their first 4 home games.

Home teams very much came off better in 71/72. By the end of the season 7 of the 24 sides had scored an average of 2 or more goals in each home game.

So it was another victory - 6 undefeated and up to 2nd overnight.
 
Last edited:

Billy Bests boot laces

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Friday October 01, 1971 - Division 4
Southend Utd (0) 2 (Garner 59', Albeson 66')
Southport (0) 1 (Field 72')
Venue: Roots Hall KO: 7.30
Attendance: 10,316

Southend Utd: J Roberts, R Ternent, A Smith, D Elliott, B Albeson, J Jacques, T Johnson, B Best, B Garner, G Moore, B Lewis. Sub: K Lindsey.
Southport: A Taylor, D Turner, B Sibbald, J McPhee, C Dunleavy, G Sharples, F Lee (T Field 70'), M Hartland, E Redrobe, N Lloyd, B Hartle.

Tony Field, their most prolific scorer, had been kept on the substitute’s bench. But brought on for Francis Lee, he had been on the park only two minutes when his ‘ shot front 20 yards was deflected past John Roberts.
Was that the Francis Lee who went on to play for Man City & Derby?
The result was most important from everybody’s point of view because it wasn’t achieved against a “mug” side. Southport could stiII be well in the running for honours when the season ends.
That wasn't a bad prediction, as they finished 5th, missing out by 3 points?.
 

Zeuss

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Messages
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In my opinion it was at the mighty Blues ((of course).

He was a big influence on my centre forward play back in the day…..and interestingly (for me anyway) my recollection is that he joined us as a full back……perhaps someone can confirm or deny…..
I can,R,he came as a centre-forward ( look at his goals scored record ) . I think he was vying with an ancient Roy Hollis initially.
His strength was heading—he had a very broad forehead —not too dissimilar from squarehead Maguire. He did later play for a while at RB.
 

mfurok

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I can,R,he came as a centre-forward ( look at his goals scored record ) . I think he was vying with an ancient Roy Hollis initially.
His strength was heading—he had a very broad forehead —not too dissimilar from squarehead Maguire. He did later play for a while at RB.

Thanks Paul.

I loved Jim's centre forward play and, as you say, he was great in the air. He was also hard to knock off the ball and a goalscorer.

I knew he played at full back for a while but I couldn't remember when. I guess it was towards the end of his career when he could use his reading of the game to thwart attacks.

After Jim came the superb Bobby Gilfillan (RIP). How we could do with him now.

Back in those days we signed a succession of excellent players for little cost - what a shambles our club has become.
 

LBBlue

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Saturday 9th October.

Win at home and draw away would get you promotion!

Next up an away game at Chester at Sealand Road and we had to make a change with Dave Barnett coming in for Joe Jacques. It was tight at the top and we had gone back to 5th place, 2points behind the leaders Brentford. Chester had so far recorded 2 wins 6 draws and 2 defeats so a 1-1 draw with Bill Garner scoring a penalty was probably not a surprise. They finished the season 5th from bottom with only 2 home defeats but 0 away wins.

They included our former player Graham Birks at left back and playing at centre half for them was Graham Turner who had already totted up well over 200 league appearances before his 24th birthday.

He went on to play 650 games for Wrexham, Chester and Shrewsbury between 1964 and 1983 all in division 3 or 4 until as Shrewsbury player/manager he took them into the old Div2 in 1978/79. He then clocked up 1,659 games as a manager at Shrewsbury, Villa and Wolves and at Hereford where he also had a spell as Chairman, Director of Football and majority shareholder owner. At Wolves he took them from Div4 to Div2 managing our old foe Steve Bull.

I think Graham Turner could truly say football was his life.

So we were now 7 games undefeated having W5 Dr4 L2 and going along quite nicely.

The next day I was back off to Southampton for the start of term so getting to Friday night home games was going to be a challenge. Fortunately, maths lecturers never worked on a Friday afternoon and I wasn’t the only shrimper at Southampton. I know where @mfurok is but what ever happened to Les Hughes and Richard Skeet?

Next up home to Peterborough – one of the two sides to have beaten us.
 

sufc_statto

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Messages
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Saturday October 09, 1971 - Division 4
Chester (1) 1 (Draper 36')
Southend Utd (1) 1 (Garner 19' (pen})
Venue: Sealand Road, Chester. KO: 3.15
Attendance: 4,092

Chester: G Livsey, N Edwards, G Birks, R Cheetham, G Turner, D Pountney, R Carter, E Loyden, P Morrissey, D Draper, K McHale.
Southend Utd: J Roberts, A Smith, R Ternent, D Elliott, B Albeson, D Barnett, T Johnson, B Best, B Garner, G Moore, B Lewis. Sub: K Lindsey.

Match Report
Yet a another superb United display at the Sealand Road Stadium stretched their un beaten run to seven and consolidated their fifth position in the Fourth Division table, writes Alf Smirk.

And if, after getting a point away from home, any criticism sounds carping, then it is only to say they were so superior to Chester that both points would have been no more than they deserved.

Never, certainly in an away fixture, can they have created so many goal-scoring chances for so little reward and even the one goal they netted came from the penalty spot .

Despite the late withrawal of skipper Joe Jacques, rarely can the defence have been in such command yet have becn made to pay in full for one lack of co-ordination. But this was a continuation of the “new” Blues image and, to say the least it Is encouraing for the future.

Give or take a goal or two either way, on goalscoring chances alone United might have been three up by halftime and have doubled the gap by the finaI whistle.
.
Yet their only goal came after 19 minutes from the penalty spot. Terry Johnson, who had a brilliant game, was brought down in the area as he was ploughing his way through and Bill Garner hammered in the spot-kick.

It was a tragedy when Chester equalised after 36 minutes. Dave Barnett, brought into the back four when Jacques had to cry off with a foot infeclion, made his only serious error. A long clearance out of the home defence skidded off his head and Derek Draper won the race with goaIkeeper Roberts to head the baII over him into the net.

But the “system” was as much to blame as Barnett. Once he was beaten there was no cover at all from a square defence and Draper’s task was made that much easier.

Apart from that mistake, United were in trouble on onIy about three other occasions during the whole 90 minutes. In the opening stages, Ray Ternent cleared a Pat Morrissey shot off the line with Roberts out of the picture. Two minutes later only a great Roberts save turned an Eddie Loyden shot for a corner and this episode was repeated right on the hour.

For the rest, it was mostly United on the attack. Their build-ups were made precisely and at speed, and up front they had Johnson at the top of his form.

Unfortunately, the killer punch was not in evidence in the middle to reap the benefit. In the four minutes before halftime, a Garner header from a Johnson cross hit the foot of the post, a Gary Moore header from another Johnson centre was well-saved by Gordon Livsey and Garner broke through on the left only to hit Livsey with his final shot.

The scond half was a repeat, with near misses and a superb performance by Livsey keeping United out. Again it was Johnson who led the Blues’ assault but as their finishing Improved and they hit the target, so did Livsey. The ‘keeper may have known little about a couple of shots from rebounds but his anticipation and recovery deserved any of the luck that was going.

Two United players were booked. Roberts in the first half for what Derby referee, Roy Boyles, diplomatically described as “dissent” and Barnett in the second half for a late tackle.

It was good to see a United side so much on the rampage and becoming hunters instead of the hunted. They look so much better when they are attacking to win a game and not defending to save it.

It would have been an even happier situation if some of their chances had gone in. As long as they were level, there was always the off-chance of a Chester breakaway producing a winning goal.

A continuation of this form and the “United for promotion year” could indeed come within the bounds of possibility.

League Table
1633775827575.png
 

LBBlue

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Friday Night 15th October 1971

There was no turmoil then - just a winning team and a squad of 16 players.

Getting to home games was now a bit tricky:
Lecture finish at 12.50
Bus to Southampton Central
I think there was a fast train to Waterloo that left at 1.30/40 getting to Waterloo in 70 minutes.
Waterloo and City line to Bank and Liverpool Street
Liverpool Street to Rochford - then an 8 bus to home - 90 minutes max at home and then the bus to Roots Hall - if all went to plan!

So Peterborough, who had beaten us in the first game of the season came to Roots Hall. They had won 5 lost 5 and drawn only one. They had beaten Barrow 7-0 in their previous game and, like a lot of teams in the division, had two regular goal scorers in Jim Hall and Peter Price - the big bloke and the clever quick bloke. 11 games in, Price had already got 11 goals and got another in this game. He ended the season with 28 league goals in 39 games plus 4 in the FA Cup. He ended the season as Div 4 top scorer and got a transfer to Div 2 Portsmouth. 13 players in Div 4 scored 20 or more goals in League and Cup that season as the goals flew in. Hall got 20 but Peterborough managed only 8th place after a bizarre run of 12 games between Dec and March where they didn't win, drawing 10 and losing 2. Price got injured early in his Portsmouth career and was never the same player again.

We welcomed back Joe Jacques to get back to our normal starting 11. 1-1 at half time the winner came from Bill Garner with his second goal of the game.

The attendance - another season's highest 10,695- went home happy.
Eight games undefeated

The next game - the following Monday at Colchester - what could go possibly wrong?
 

LCBB72

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Messages
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Friday Night 15th October 1971

There was no turmoil then - just a winning team and a squad of 16 players.

Getting to home games was now a bit tricky:
Lecture finish at 12.50
Bus to Southampton Central
I think there was a fast train to Waterloo that left at 1.30/40 getting to Waterloo in 70 minutes.
Waterloo and City line to Bank and Liverpool Street
Liverpool Street to Rochford - then an 8 bus to home - 90 minutes max at home and then the bus to Roots Hall - if all went to plan!

So Peterborough, who had beaten us in the first game of the season came to Roots Hall. They had won 5 lost 5 and drawn only one. They had beaten Barrow 7-0 in their previous game and, like a lot of teams in the division, had two regular goal scorers in Jim Hall and Peter Price - the big bloke and the clever quick bloke. 11 games in, Price had already got 11 goals and got another in this game. He ended the season with 28 league goals in 39 games plus 4 in the FA Cup. He ended the season as Div 4 top scorer and got a transfer to Div 2 Portsmouth. 13 players in Div 4 scored 20 or more goals in League and Cup that season as the goals flew in. Hall got 20 but Peterborough managed only 8th place after a bizarre run of 12 games between Dec and March where they didn't win, drawing 10 and losing 2. Price got injured early in his Portsmouth career and was never the same player again.

We welcomed back Joe Jacques to get back to our normal starting 11. 1-1 at half time the winner came from Bill Garner with his second goal of the game.

The attendance - another season's highest 10,695- went home happy.
Eight games undefeated

The next game - the following Monday at Colchester - what could go possibly wrong?
Southend had perhaps one of the best ever foreward lines I have seen at Roots Hall , wingers Bernie Lewis and Terry Johnson tearing down the wings and banging the ball over for King Billy Best , Bill Garner or Gary Moore to put in the net . Joe Jacques and Brian Albeson showing that they were solid middle defence and would be able to handle anything that any 4th division team could throw at them . And the North Bank in full voice 'We are on our way to Colchester' at the end of the game .
 

LBBlue

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Ray Ternant, Joe Jacques, Dave Elliott, Terry Johnson, and Gary Moore were all born in the north east, Brian Albeson was from Oldham but signed from Darlington, Alex Smith from near Bradford, Billy was Scottish, Bernie Lewis Welsh, John Roberts Australian signed from Bradford City and Bill Garner was from the midlands. I think the north easterners gelled us into a team.

The only local players were the youngsters, Peter Taylor, Peter Hunt and Dave Barnett with George Duck a Londoner.
 
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