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My Roots Hall.


Roots Hall.

This is probably a lot harder for me than most on here.Yes I know Canvey and a few others were there or therebouts in those old days when it all began for me.

I Guess I was about 9 when I used to visit Priory Park and wondered who these people were kicking footballs about, It took a kickabout friend to point out to me "that is Southend United"...I was at boarding school at that time so it was mostly at half terms that I had the chance to visit the Park....This was the normal training ground in those day's.. It became the normal at every school break for me, we became the local ball-boy's of the day and we became part of the family when we were invited to Roots Hall on Matchday as a thanks.

I do not remember the first game I went to or in what order the players appeared ...I remember Chisnel,Woodley,Bentley, Mcgiven and one of my all time favourites at the Hall...Trevor Roberts, who kind of took a shine to us youngsters and was a top top man. ( sadly he died many years ago). I think it was Arthur Rowley in charge in those days followed by Ernie Shepherd, but forgive me if I am not accurate.We became a fixture at the Hall after that.

We used to bunk in mostly over the old South Bank by the Hospital Toc H wooden hut. In our day's off at half term we were at the ground most day's as volunteers..There are so many things we used to do to help but one that stands out in my mind is when they extended the East stand and put in proper seats instead of bench's..I spent I think about a week ( well it felt like it at the time) sticking gold transfer numbers on to each seat.

There is a picture of one of my relatives in the recent book "A Century United" as a player , maybe it was in the blood but my love for SUFC has never wained from those day's.I have so many stories to tell over the 40 odd years I have loved the Shrimpers and not the time to tell them all here, but it does bring a lump to my throat as we are about to kiss the old place goodbye. Roots Hall will always be a special place to me but I felt many years ago that if we had a chance to move we should take it, but it never materialized.

I have seen 100's and 100's of players come and go and a fair few manager's. I miss some of my old friends from those day's that are sadly not here anymore, but I have made so many more over the year's and I have had a few gap's along the way due to family commitments.

Today I have mixed feelings of course, my youth and all of my life up until now supporting SUFC has been at the Hall, but I know it is time to move on and bring a new future to SUFC...I look forward to Fossetts with a smile and a new future for the club and us all, but with a tear for those long gone day's that have made my life and love of my club complete.

Long may SUFC remain in all your hearts.