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Ron Manager

formerly Libertine
Jan 21, 2007
Brisbane, Australia
.....for me anyway.

Doncaster was my final game as a Southend United regular before I head off with the family for a new life in Australia. I will of course remain a Southend United fan till my dying day and trips home will be planned around getting in as many games as I can. However I no longer have a season ticket (my mate Nicky is in my seat next season) and will officially be an 'Exile' by the time next season comes around.

I first went to Roots Hall 27 years ago as a 7 year old (we beat Walsall, my memory tells me 4-2 but I looked it up recently and it seems it was actually 3-2). Standing on the East Bank paddock - my abiding memory is the smell of roll-ups, frying onions and Bovril. That and seeing grown men swear like troopers for 90 minutes - I was hooked! In fact it was my Uncle who took me and for a few years now he has been sitting just behind me in the South Upper and I travelled on the coach with him to Donny - so it all came round full circle.

Too many great memories to list here - the promotions, the big cup-ties, trips to the Millenium Stadium. Also plenty of awful memories - the relegations, getting knocked out by non-league teams, the god awful years in the bottom division. Through all those highs and lows though have been the people I watched the games with. Many of whom are still friends who will remain so for ever, some who for whatever reason drifted away from supporting us and some who are sadly no longer with us at all. Many of us have grown up together, from gobby little teenagers to being in most cases married and for many of us parents of our own future Little Shrimpers.

So as you wait for the fixture list to come out and look forward to next season I already have my next season of live football set up. I'll be going along to the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane to watch Queensland Roar in the A-League and the fixtures for that are already out. First games is away to Wellington on Sunday 17th August, I'm already working on the missus to arrange a trip across the Tasman Sea to her old home town. She and the kids can visit friends and family and I can go to the match - some things never change. Difference is of course I'll be an interested spectator not a proper fan, not at first anyway. I won't feel the euphoria of victory and the pain of defeat like I do at Southend games - although that may start to happen over time.

Otherwise it will be sitting on the internet at stupid o'clock following our progress and posting on here to keep up with the gossip (you're not getting rid of me completely).

Finally a note about Friday. Losing in the manner that we did in my last game was not what I'd have wanted at all. However because it was my final match I'd like to thank every one of the 2 thousand who did stand up to shout, sing and dance non-stop from the moment the fourth goal went in untill we left the ground. I wanted to go out on a high, and of course I dreamt that would be at Wembley. However when it become obvious that wasn't going to happen to be part of that away end on Friday was the next best thing. At the end of the day I've seen chairmen, directors, managers, coaches and players come and go. What has remained constant during that time has been the fans and it is probably fitting that it was the actions of those fans that will be the final memory of my time regularly attending Southend United games.


Great post,brought a tear to my eye...:'(

Good luck in Aussie.


Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Dec 27, 2007
Indeed, as you say, full circle was a nice way to finish. All the best to you, I'm often on here in the early hours so will keep an eye out for you - have you decided on your newly exiled name thingy yet?

MK Shrimper

Aug 6, 2005
Best of luck Lib.... hopefully this time next year I'll be following you across the seas somewhere to make my fortune and live in the sunshine :)

A Century United

Firewalking for HD
Jan 26, 2007
Super post, and all the best in Aus.

Welcome to the Weird and Wonderful World of the Exiles!

yogi bear up the cagire

Life President⭐
May 8, 2008
St Gaudens France
Great post and while I can empathise with you, I am, at the same time a little envious. You had the good fortune to be there during the last two decades and have witnessed what has been the most exciting period of our history....that unfortunately I have had to view from afar.
The high points, for the blues, that I witnessed between the late fifties and early seventies, when i lived in Southend, were sadly few and far between. The rise in our fortunes (excluding financial prior to Martin) ironically coincided with my departure from England in 1989.
Whereas it is probably a good idea that I do not come back, I think you should be aware, that if things suddenly turn pear-shaped, there will be people on here requesting ....No.....demanding that you return!
All the best down under.
Jul 12, 2005
Canvey Island
Great post &n memories and all good wishes down under. I'm told by my relatives that they A League is ok, and gets good attendances and isn't a bad standard.