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Is Alan Moody one of the greatest 12 figures in SUFC history?

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Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
Next up for nomination is Alan Moody.

The last two nominees, David Crown and Ricky Otto look unlikely to make it into the Hall of Fame (at least on the first ballot), probably because their glittering Southend career's were deemed too short. That is unlikely to keep Alan Moody out.

In fact it is difficult to think of much that could keep Alan Moody out - a thought no doubt shared by opposing keepers facing his legendary penalties (he scored 24 out of 27).

Nobody in Southend United history has made more appearances than Alan Moody. Moody pulled on a Southend shirt an incredible 506 times. Sandy Anderson may have made six more league appearances, but Moody's cup exploits - he was at the heart of the team that famously held European Champions Liverpool goalless in 1979 and was ever present in the club's run to the 5th round in 1975/76 (a feat still to be surpassed) - means that he is the only man to have broken the 500 appearance barrier for the club.

A ball-boy in the England v Argentina world cup game in 1966, Moody was signed from Middlesbrough by Arthur Rowley for £15,000 in 1972. Southend under Rowley had just achieved the club's first ever promotion and flush with cash from having sold Bill Garner to Chelsea, but with 8 defeats in their first 13 games back in division 3, Rowley invested wisely in the young centre-half. He was an ever present for the rest of the season, and helped guide the team to mid-table safety as they only lost a further 11 games all season and finished 14th.

The next season Moody only missed two games (and he came on as sub in one of those) as Southend continued to consolidate in the third, finishing 12th. Moody grabbed his first of what was to be many goals for the club, and he finished with 6 goals for the season, a more than respectable return for a defender.

The following couple of seasons were more of a struggle as Southend finished 18th and then 23rd and were relegated. By now Moody had become Southend's penalty-taker, but even 10 goals that season, half from the spot including a run of 4 in 4 games, couldn't save Southend from the drop.

A further 7 goals the next season in division 4, helped the club to 10th place, but it was defensively that he excelled, as the team let in less than a goal a game to establish a new club record. The defensive record was even better the following season, and helped propel the club to second place and only the club's second ever promotion. An ever-present on the teamsheet (5 years into his Southend career he had missed just 7 games) he was once more a regular on the scoresheet, notching 9 goals.

On the back of an once more strong defence, he helped consolidate Southend's position in the third tier once more, as the club finished 13th. The season was however dominated by the cup heroics against Liverpool, as Moody and Hadley shut out of the game the legendary Kenny Dalglish with a performance manager Dave Smith described as "truly magnificent" to earn the Shrimpers a highly creditable replay.

This being the yo-yo years, the stay in the third was shortlived, and although in the cup we took the Hamster scum to two replays in the third round (we've only once gone further), we finished 22nd and were relegated.

The disappointment of yet another relegation was quickly put behind us, as we produced one of our greatest seasons ever, to lift our first major silverware, the 4th division title. Whilst we won an incredible 30 out of 46 league games that season, the truly astonishing record was our defence, which conceded just 6 goals at home all season. Once more Moody was at the heart of that defence, although he played "only" 30 league games that season.

Back in division 3 and with Moody once more a regular at the back of a tight defence, Southend finished 7th, which still rates as one of our highest ever finishes.

By now Moody's Southend career was beginning to wind down and he played just half the games in the following two seasons, and Southend finished 15th and then 22nd and were relegated.

With over a decade's worth of service, Moody was rightly awarded a testimonial. In an era where crowds of under 2,000 at Roots Hall were not unheard of, over 6,000 - the biggest of the season - turned up to Roots Hall to wish him goodbye as he moved onto Maldon Town.

With over 500 appearances for the club, as a defender who helped set no fewer than three club records for fewest goals conceded in a season and who inspired his team to two promotions including the only trophy we won in our first 100 years, Moody has to be a fore-runner to reach the hall of fame.

Alan Moody

Southend United 1972-1984
Appearances 506 (444+2 league, 60 cup)
Goals 44 (41 league, 3 cup)
Promotions 2 (1977/78, 1980/81)
Relegations 3 (1975/76, 1979/80, 1983/84)
Honours: Division 4 champions 1980/81