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Who was the greater Southendlegend?


  • Total voters
    35
  • Poll closed .

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
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As voting draws to a close in McAlinden v McCrory, it's time to introduce our next tie which is one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes of the round, for me at least, as the two Eddies battle it out.

As usual, I'll give you a chance to post up your memories, and before I add the poll.
 

Shrimper

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Firmani is the original Dalglish, he is the only player to have scored 100 goals in both England and Italy and gave a good service to just 6 clubs in his 25 year career. Firmani is of South Africa descent and played as either a center or inside forward, his first club was London side Charlton Athletic where he scored 51 goals in 112 games, a ratio of a goal every 2.1 games. He continued, and improved, this form at Sampdoria (Record Transfer fee involving a British Club at the time) during his three year spell improving his tally to 52 goals in 63 games, a very impressive ratio of a goal every 1.2 games, a strike rate that today would see him ranked aside the likes of Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney and Pato. After a three year stay at Sampdoria he moved to giants Internazionale and then onto Genoa which saw him wrap up his 8 years in Italy with 125 goals in 207 games, a ratio of 1.6. A return to Charlton followed where he remained consistent and this consistentcy saw him run out his career after spells at Southend, Charlton and a singular game for the Tampa Bay Rowdies. In his career Eddie Firmani played for Italy 3 times as his grandad was Italian and is considered one of the post-war greats of football. He is currently 77 years old and his last involvement in football was to manage the New York/New Jersey Metrostars, in my mind his achievements are not celebrated or recognised enough.

Eddie_firmani.gif
 

Tangled up in Blue

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Both very good players...but Firmani walks this by a country mile.

Yes I would agree with that.
Neither were with us long (IIRC Firmani played for us for two seasons,Clayton just the one).EC's initial impact with that 7-0 game against Workington should have walked us the League that season but didn't.Eddie Firmani's cf play was a joy to behold.Few better players can ever have graced Roots Hall.Clayton stayed too long at Spurs IMO(mostly in their reserves) to be of much use by the time he came to us.Great skill though.
 
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Ozzer

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Firmani for me, so exciting to watch. I saw him score from a short corner with his back to the goal and another time the opposition keeper mi**** a goal kick and Firmani just belted it back into the net on the volley from about 30 yards.
 

Yorkshire Blue

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Firmani for me, so exciting to watch. I saw him score from a short corner with his back to the goal and another time the opposition keeper mi**** a goal kick and Firmani just belted it back into the net on the volley from about 30 yards.

These are the stories I want to hear! How on earth did he score from a short corner with his back to goal?
 
Joined
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Yes I would agree with that.
Neither were with us long (IIRC Firmani played for us for two seasons,Clayton just the one).EC's initial impact with that 7-0 game against Workington should have walked us the League that season but didn't.Eddie Firmani's cf play was a joy to behold.Few better players can ever have graced Roots Hall.Clayton stayed too long at Spurs IMO(mostly in their reserves) to be of much use by the time he came to us.Great skill though.

Both played for us for two seasons, although they didn't play together.

Firmani joined from Charlton in Jun 65, and left for Charlton in 1967, he scoredan impressive 28 goals in 62 appearances for Blues.

Clayton joined from Spurs in March 1968 and left for Ashford 2 years later, he scored 18 in 83 appearances. As you rightly say he probably stayed at Spurs too long, and was always on the periphery of the great Spurs double side. He obviously learnt from masters like John White as Clayton was one of (if not the best) best passers of a football I've seen in a Southend shirt. I've harped on about it often enough but in 68/69 we scored goals for fun and played some wonderful passing football most of which came through Eddie. He also had Phil Chisnall & Chico Hamilton in the side and Billy Best (more of him later) to score freely.

Firmani was quite old when he joined us, but what a player, and why he was playing in Division 4 with us is still beyond me 40 odd years later. He was just simply a class above the cloggers who tried to kick him, and he scored some wonderful goals for us, I remember clearly the one Ozzer described. He clearly was a class above because of the standard he played in Italy.

I'm truly not sure on this and won't make my mind up until the poll goes up.
 
Last edited:
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This is a difficult one for me,I vaguely remember Firmani and my Dad saying he was a class c/f,however my memory of clayton is clearer ,a great midfielder although not at his fastest due to age ,a bit like a charlie cook type player .I think I'll go for Clayton (due to memory!!)
 

Banksy

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Nov 24, 2003
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Eddie Firmani - A class act and how we got him to play for us I would like to know. Must have been the ****les.
 

GrumpyBlue

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Yes I would agree with that.
Neither were with us long (IIRC Firmani played for us for two seasons,Clayton just the one).EC's initial impact with that 7-0 game against Workington should have walked us the League that season but didn't.Eddie Firmani's cf play was a joy to behold.Few better players can ever have graced Roots Hall.Clayton stayed too long at Spurs IMO(mostly in their reserves) to be of much use by the time he came to us.Great skill though.

Well said Phil I totally agree with you
 

DistantBlue

Youth Team⭐
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Mar 8, 2004
Messages
222
This is so difficult for me.
Eddie Clayton was just about the best passer of the ball that I ever saw in a blues shirt . i think he was better than Phil Chisnall - but the two could never really hit off together on the pitch (a la Gerrard and Lampard).
Ediie Firmani however was like watching a true artist .He could pass it,he could head it,he could shoot (boy could he shoot).But above all he did things with such gracefulnees and artistry and never appeared to break sweat !!
I remember one bitterly cold night catching the bus to Southend to watch a game v Brentford I think.
As I stood at the bus stop I thought I must be mad - the only reason I'm going is to see Firmani - there won't be anybody else there in the freezing cold wind and hail.
There were 6,000 there - all to see him and he didn't let em down - an exquisite goal from an impossible angle which sent us all home glowing - a true artist.
o
The only thing I can compare it to is when Frank Worthington came to town one night with Swindon I think and about 15,000 of us turned out to watch him stuff us on his own with one foot and no running !

Eddie Firmani for me
 
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Great post Distant Blue (again), and echoing what I said about Eddies Clayton & Firmani. I think the only thing wrong is that Frank Worthington played for Huddersfield and we had both his somewhat less talented brothers Dave & Bob, although Dave was a great crowd favourite.

But you've convinced me to vote for Eddie Firmani.
 

Chris Powell's mate

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Talking of Eddie Clayton - does anybody remember him scoring at Brentford on March 10, 1969 - with the goal chalked off because it went through a hole in the net and the ref missed it?
Eddie does, because I spoke to him about it a short while ago. The ref was called Maurice Fussey (no, really) and it would have been the winner in a 1-1 draw.
Smart-arse keeper Chick Brodie ran around the goal to pick up the ball thus giving the idea it had hit the side netting.
A magazine called Soccer Star rubbed salt in the wounds by publishing a pic of the 'goal' and the hole in the net.
Believe it or not, lightning struck twice when a season ago, another goal was scored against Brentford by a different team. Again the ref missed it, and again it was again ruled out.
 

Ozzer

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These are the stories I want to hear! How on earth did he score from a short corner with his back to goal?

The corner was taken from the left and Firmani let it go between his legs and backheeled it into the goal with his left foot. A 'short' corner in the respect that it was along or close to the goal line and not crossed into the box.
 

Yorkshire Blue

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The corner was taken from the left and Firmani let it go between his legs and backheeled it into the goal with his left foot. A 'short' corner in the respect that it was along or close to the goal line and not crossed into the box.

Nice one, sounds like a cracking goal.
 
Joined
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Talking of Eddie Clayton - does anybody remember him scoring at Brentford on March 10, 1969 - with the goal chalked off because it went through a hole in the net and the ref missed it?
Eddie does, because I spoke to him about it a short while ago. The ref was called Maurice Fussey (no, really) and it would have been the winner in a 1-1 draw.
Smart-arse keeper Chick Brodie ran around the goal to pick up the ball thus giving the idea it had hit the side netting.
A magazine called Soccer Star rubbed salt in the wounds by publishing a pic of the 'goal' and the hole in the net.
Believe it or not, lightning struck twice when a season ago, another goal was scored against Brentford by a different team. Again the ref missed it, and again it was again ruled out.

I remember it, but I thought it was Gary Moore who had the goal chalked off.
 

Billy is the best

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Yes it was Gary Moore and i remember that the report in the daily mirror stated that Southend supporters would be still talking about this on the end of Southend pier untill their dyeing day.
The net was examined by the referee and players but no hole was found.
 
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