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Ant from across the Pond
Aug 13, 2007
Limerick, Ireland

This week, Ricardo from Glasgow takes time to answer some questions on being exiled from Southend. Above is him at the Mill. Stad, 2005.

1) How long have you been an exile?
A) I haven’t actually lived in Essex for over 20 years now but only have classed myself as a true exile for the 8 years I’ve been in Glasgow.

2) Why did you leave Essex?
A) My dad got a big promotion at work and felt the time was right to go more rural, so they decided to move to Suffolk when I was still at school. I actually ended up in Glasgow as my Mrs is from Aberdeen but after 2 years of us trying to settle either in Ipswich or NE Scotland we chose Glasgow as a “happy” medium!

3) Most memorable trip?
A) There’s a few, obviously the L2 Playoff final and Bristol City game when we said farewell to the Goat & clinched the L1 title spring to mind. In terms of everyday games, I’d say I’m split between Blackpool away in January 2006 & Huddersfield away last season, both with dramatic injury time winners (great goals too).

4) Whilst SUFC fans prepare their usual Saturday home routines of pub, Fish House, match, what is your Saturday routine when the Blues are playing?
A) I don’t really have a set routine, I think a lot depends on my gut feel as to how we’ll play that day. Sometimes it’s the chatroom, others I’ll sit glued to Soccer Saturday (Jeff Stelling definitely has Shrimper leanings I think). If I think we’re in for a bad day I’ll probably avoid what’s going on as much as possible, and go out training on my bike or go to the shops, take my daughter to the cinema, stuff like that.

5) The age old question: Would you go through Jo Brand to get at Nicola Roberts?
A) Er no, I don’t think so, next!!!

6) Favourite current and past player, and why?
A) Current - probably still Macca as he’s been such a key player over the past couple of years, although Lee Sawyer was amazing in the Orient game (my only match so far this season).
Past - got to be Stanley, for keeping us up pretty much single-handed in the time he was with us. His one man destruction of Bristol Rovers was something else.

7) Any plans to move back?
A) I’d move back tomorrow if it was possible. However, the Mrs is not keen either on Essex as a place or the fact I’d be so close to SUFC. The “move” is still on the agenda at some point though.

8) You have a well documented love of all things ginger. Why so?
A) Trip to Amsterdam Dec95, all I’m prepared to say……(it’s not what people’s first thoughts/response will be to this either!!!)

9) Have you converted many people where you are situated to the Blues' cause?
A) I wouldn’t say I’ve truly converted anybody to the cause, but I’ve managed to get loads of people to now keep an eye out for SUFC news/results.

10) Hardest part of being exiled for you?
A) Not being able to wake up on a Saturday morning and think “I’ve got nothing to do today, I’ll go to the football!”

11) Special and memorable characters / rogues from your travels that deserve a mention?
A) The longer I’ve been posting on SZ, the more fans I’ve got to know at games. The BBQ after Port Vale was good to put more names to faces but before that have had some good times at games with Uxbridge, MtS, Naps, the All at Sea boys (especially Keefmoon), MK, Aberdeen & Mrs, Sarfminster, the Johns (& Cricko), Stereoscene, Tom (aka Shrimp in a Kilt/A Century United), Overseas Shrimper, the Suffolk Blues collective, the SZ Ladies, I could go on for ever. The train down from Glasgow to Carlisle last season was also memorable from a certain Irish Shrimper’s perspective……

12) Least memorable trip as an exile?
A) The 0-4 at Darlo, the Saturday after we’d beaten Col U on penalties at Layer Rd in the LDV. We were awful and you could tell we were due a thumping even from the warm-up. At least it galvanised T&B & Ron to get in Freddy, the rest is history! Me & the Mrs also got a 24 hour sickness bug that evening and the drive back to Glasgow from the friends we were staying with was far from comfortable & pleasant!!! Donny just after Xmas last year was also a terrible day (although possibly not as bad as for those who made he trip in May).

13) Where is the weirdest place you may have bumped into a fellow Shrimper abroad?
A) I’ve bumped into a couple of older fans on different holidays but probably the weirdest was a bar tender in NYC who saw my SUFC pin badge on my coat and told me he was originally from Thorpe Bay.

14) Next planned trip to see the mighty blues?
A) Possibly Leicester or Hartlepool next month, if not it will be Orient at New Year.

15) Season expectations?
A) A lot depends on January’s transfer window, the loanees have brought us on a whole lot from the dark days of August, so it will be interesting to see if Harding/Christophe sign permanently and if Sawyer can return for rest of the season. I fear we might do a Yeovil and sink into mid/lower table. We also need a fit Freedman & Barney and hope Laurent can keep improving (and maybe sign a longer term deal). Playoffs again should be the ultimate aim though.

16) If you were in Tilly's shoes for a day, is there anything you would do differently?
A) Learn when to make substitutions that can turn games. Also try and make us more ruthless, Col Ewe proved how easy we can blow a 2 goal lead and the same was said against Orient, although we obviously didn’t!

17) How many times do you usually get to see Southend play per season?
A) Depending on cash (& how well we’re doing) I’d say 6-10, with 2 or 3 trips to home games. The worst year of our L2 days (02/03) I only went once (Bournemouth away) and didn’t even bother buying that season’s shirt(s) which for me was an unknown!

18) Away kit: Reds or Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwws sssss?
A) Stevie Tilson’s Yellow Army!!!! People know my opinion about that red monstrosity (why they didn’t pick the red/navy version of that shirt I’ve got no idea, it’s far too like Orient to be a true Southend shirt)

19) When you do happen to get back to the Southend area for a rare home match, besides football, what do you look forward to the most?
A) Well, I always threaten to give the tarmac at Stansted a Papal kiss. Seriously, I just think people from Essex are really friendly and for whatever reasons I just feel like I’ve come home.

20) When cheese gets its picture take, what does it say?
A) Foran

21) South, East or West stand?
A) I refer myself to Dave’s answer last week. Always was a North Banker then just accepted I had to go in South Upper when they changed it. Past few times I’ve been down, I’ve gone in the west, usually in/near The Blue Voice section.

22) Being an (honorary) Glaswegian, Celtic or Rangers?
A) Mon ‘A Hoops……my mate actually let me have his season ticket for a season while he was working Saturday’s. However, other than the CL and Old-Firm games and strangely enough Aberdeen it wasn’t that enjoyable. Most visiting teams play a 5-5-0 formation, zzzzzzzzzz!!!

Big thanks to Rich for taking the time to answer the above. Next week, John from Canada will be talking to us.