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Is Ricky Otto one of the greatest 12 figures in SUFC history?


  • Total voters
    89
  • Poll closed .

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,135
Location
London
Next up for election to the Hall of Fame is Ricky Otto.

otto.jpg


Ricky Otto had it all: skill, flair and funny looking hair.

He was signed by B****y F*y for £100,000, a fee that seems suspiciously high for a Leyton Orient reserve. I won't make any libellous suggestions about brown envelopes inflating the transfer fee for that transaction and anyway it turned out to be (Collymore) money well spent.

Otto had what is usually euphemistically referred to as a colourful past. He arrived at Orient via the Wormwood Scrubs having spent a spell at Her Majesty's Pleasure having tried to open a post office account with a gun. To my knowledge that makes him the only convicted armed robber to have ever played for Southend United (a stat which would make him an automatic in the Southend Hall of Infamy alongside David Roche, who was arrested at half-time during one game for GBH, and managed by Alvan Williams to provide the killing touch).

In a Southend shirt he proved to be a sharp shooter, notching 15 goals in his first season (1993/94), a fantastic return from the left-wing. To put that in some sort of context between then and the start of the Tilson era, only one player (Carruthers) managed to score that many in a season, and he was a striker.

It wasn't however his goals that caught the eye as much as his outrageous skill. Above all he was an entertainer. In all my years following Southend, I haven't seen anyone to match him as an entertainer (although honourable shouts to Phil Gridelet and Dom Iorfa) and I'd guess you'd probably have to go back to Eddie Firmani* to find someone who was such a showman. For our younger readers think a grown-up JCR with an actual end product.

Take this goal
v Barnsley for example. I don't know whether he meant that as a shot - I certainly saw him put in a few crosses like that - but he is the one Southend player that I've seen that would have both the arrogance to shoot from there and the ability to execute it, and I could well believe that that was deliberate.

I'd also hoped to put up the clip of his goal at Swindon, when he ran from his own half and beat half a dozen players, but I can't find it on youtube. Someone please help, that clip needs to be seen.

In the meantime here's another clip of Otto destroying a team as we put six past Oxford with Otto scoring two and setting up one. We were awesome that day and it was Otto who led the way. I also remember how in the dying seconds, bored with playing the keep ball to oles, he started to juggle the ball.

When you pull stunts like that you start to realise why a disgruntled Cosenza player chased after him with a hammer after an Anglo-Italian cup game. He wasn't adverse to the odd bit of verbals either. I remember him spending an entire game against Charlton trying to get one of their players sent off. He'd got him booked in the opening minute and spent the rest of the game provoking him. Unfortunately that meant our best attacking weapon wasn't having much influence on the game.

That first half of the season, Southend were the most exciting team I've ever seen. We'd go to big clubs and really take the game to them on their home patch and amazingly come out on top. And the most exciting player in our most exciting team was Ricky Otto. Moreover, this was at the highest level the club has ever played at. It was thrilling stuff.

Sadly it wasn't to last. That Judas ******* sniffed Karren Brady's perfume caught sight of thirty pieces of silver and took off, spending the rest of the season unsettling our team.

With Otto to the fore, we did however make it to the Anglo-Italian final. Well the regional final and we were agonisingly close to making it to Wembley, unable to defend a 1-0 lead we went out on penalties. It remains a legendary campaign and I'm still bitter that my parents thought school was more important than a jaunt to Florence to see us take on the likes of Batistuta and Effenburg of Fiorentina.

The following season, with the other Fry players either gone or unwilling to play for new manager Taylor, it was Otto who carried the team. We got off to a painfully slow start and it took a Ricky Otto special to earn us our first point of the season with a spectacular swerving volley against Luton after a corner was only half-cleared. Typically he then inspired our first win of the season when he got the Oldham keeper sent off for hauling him down and it was Otto who eventually broke down their stubborn defence for the only goal of the game.

Otto's role was more than just the attacking thrust of the team, he dominated the team and I distinctly recall it being our flair player who was the one who was back at corners heading them clear as the likes of Keith Dublin stood stationary and no doubt pointed at where they should be. Otto really did stand head and shoulders above the rest of the team. In fact in all our years in the second tier, I think only three players stood out as clearly better than all their team-mates: Collymore, Royce and Otto (although Marsh and Whelan flashed their class, their legs had gone). They were all so much better than their team-mates it was at times embarrassing.

It was therefore a devastating blow when he was sold and replaced with Julian Hails. It was like having Cameron Diaz replaced as your babysitter by Josef Fritzl. The club did however get £800,000 for him, then the second highest transfer fee received behind Sir Stanley and since only Freddy Eastwood has gone for more.

In all Otto made just 63+1 league appearances for the club, with cup appearances taking his total up to 75+1, before being sold to Judas B*rry F*y.

His spell at B*rm*ngh*m C*ty wasn't the success his talent suggested it should have been as he found himself getting caught in possession and sticking to the white lines a few too many times. In all each start cost the Brummies £32,000 which might seem a lot of money, but £32,000 a game for Ricky Otto was a bargain compared to the £25,000 a game they ended up paying for Kevin Francis:D

He had brief loan spells at Charlton and Notts County and a slightly longer one at Peterborough, but a career of just 154 appearances was a waste of talent. Although he did score a late equaliser at Liverpool, his best years (well year and a half) was certainly at Southend.

From there he drifted away from the game and joined his brother's bookbinding business in Oxford. However when changes in academia relaxed binding requirements, demand dropped and Otto became a probation officer instead, trying to help youngsters fulfil their potential in a way he never quite managed.

Otto will be remembered fondly by all who saw his erratic genius for the Blues. Where he may fall down is longevity as the Otto era was short and sweet. His legacy should have been substantial, but the £800,000 received for him was largely frittered away. I suppose it probably paid for another couple of seasons in the second tier. What Otto can boast is having played at the highest level the club has ever featured at, that combined with the Anglo-Italian exploits might be able to counter the short nature of his stay. Otto was certainly memorable, but was he one of the dozen greatest?

*If anyone can recall Firmani, I'd love to hear how he compared to Otto.
 

SUFC Forever

Manager
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
1,807
Ricky should definately be in. Quality player and one of my all time favourites to ever wear a Southend shirt.
 

maninasuitcase

President
Joined
May 7, 2008
Messages
3,474
Location
Currently exiled in Yorkshire
I was at the Barnsley game and that goal is definitely up there as one of the best I've ever seen.

It was all the sweeter as the seats were complementory, courtesy of Southend when we met the team coach as it arrived.

As a footnote, Otto tried to get back in the game with a spell at a league of wales side, Barry? around 2000, I think.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
36,135
Location
London
I was at the Barnsley game and that goal is definitely up there as one of the best I've ever seen.

It was all the sweeter as the seats were complementory, courtesy of Southend when we met the team coach as it arrived.

As a footnote, Otto tried to get back in the game with a spell at a league of wales side, Barry? around 2000, I think.

Rhyl in 2001.
 

hindle_666

Manager
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
1,129
Otto should definatly be in this player should have played for England if he could have reached his potential,certainly would have solved the left wing problems.......i ******* hate B***Y F*Y for taking this player away from Roots Hall,he would have got a much bigger move if he'd stayed for another year(im sure of it)...........loads of goals.........anyone remember the last minute winner at home to Derby in that 4-3 match.
Most proberly the most natural left winger ive ever seen anywhere in my time watching football.....and he played for us......what a player
 

hindle_666

Manager
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
1,129
Next up for election to the Hall of Fame is Ricky Otto.

otto.jpg


Ricky Otto had it all: skill, flair and funny looking hair.

He was signed by B****y F*y for £100,000, a fee that seems suspiciously high for a Leyton Orient reserve. I won't make any libellous suggestions about brown envelopes inflating the transfer fee for that transaction and anyway it turned out to be (Collymore) money well spent.

Otto had what is usually euphemistically referred to as a colourful past. He arrived at Orient via the Wormwood Scrubs having spent a spell at Her Majesty's Pleasure having tried to open a post office account with a gun. To my knowledge that makes him the only convicted armed robber to have ever played for Southend United (a stat which would make him an automatic in the Southend Hall of Infamy alongside David Roche, who was arrested at half-time during one game for GBH, and managed by Alvan Williams to provide the killing touch).

In a Southend shirt he proved to be a sharp shooter, notching 15 goals in his first season (1993/94), a fantastic return from the left-wing. To put that in some sort of context between then and the start of the Tilson era, only one player (Carruthers) managed to score that many in a season, and he was a striker.

It wasn't however his goals that caught the eye as much as his outrageous skill. Above all he was an entertainer. In all my years following Southend, I haven't seen anyone to match him as an entertainer (although honourable shouts to Phil Gridelet and Dom Iorfa) and I'd guess you'd probably have to go back to Eddie Firmani* to find someone who was such a showman. For our younger readers think a grown-up JCR with an actual end product.

Take this goal
v Barnsley for example. I don't know whether he meant that as a shot - I certainly saw him put in a few crosses like that - but he is the one Southend player that I've seen that would have both the arrogance to shoot from there and the ability to execute it, and I could well believe that that was deliberate.

I'd also hoped to put up the clip of his goal at Swindon, when he ran from his own half and beat half a dozen players, but I can't find it on youtube. Someone please help, that clip needs to be seen.

In the meantime here's another clip of Otto destroying a team as we put six past Oxford with Otto scoring two and setting up one. We were awesome that day and it was Otto who led the way. I also remember how in the dying seconds, bored with playing the keep ball to oles, he started to juggle the ball.

When you pull stunts like that you start to realise why a disgruntled Cosenza player chased after him with a hammer after an Anglo-Italian cup game. He wasn't adverse to the odd bit of verbals either. I remember him spending an entire game against Charlton trying to get one of their players sent off. He'd got him booked in the opening minute and spent the rest of the game provoking him. Unfortunately that meant our best attacking weapon wasn't having much influence on the game.

That first half of the season, Southend were the most exciting team I've ever seen. We'd go to big clubs and really take the game to them on their home patch and amazingly come out on top. And the most exciting player in our most exciting team was Ricky Otto. Moreover, this was at the highest level the club has ever played at. It was thrilling stuff.

Sadly it wasn't to last. That Judas ******* sniffed Karren Brady's perfume caught sight of thirty pieces of silver and took off, spending the rest of the season unsettling our team.

With Otto to the fore, we did however make it to the Anglo-Italian final. Well the regional final and we were agonisingly close to making it to Wembley, unable to defend a 1-0 lead we went out on penalties. It remains a legendary campaign and I'm still bitter that my parents thought school was more important than a jaunt to Florence to see us take on the likes of Batistuta and Effenburg of Fiorentina.

The following season, with the other Fry players either gone or unwilling to play for new manager Taylor, it was Otto who carried the team. We got off to a painfully slow start and it took a Ricky Otto special to earn us our first point of the season with a spectacular swerving volley against Luton after a corner was only half-cleared. Typically he then inspired our first win of the season when he got the Oldham keeper sent off for hauling him down and it was Otto who eventually broke down their stubborn defence for the only goal of the game.

Otto's role was more than just the attacking thrust of the team, he dominated the team and I distinctly recall it being our flair player who was the one who was back at corners heading them clear as the likes of Keith Dublin stood stationary and no doubt pointed at where they should be. Otto really did stand head and shoulders above the rest of the team. In fact in all our years in the second tier, I think only three players stood out as clearly better than all their team-mates: Collymore, Royce and Otto (although Marsh and Whelan flashed their class, their legs had gone). They were all so much better than their team-mates it was at times embarrassing.

It was therefore a devastating blow when he was sold and replaced with Julian Hails. It was like having Cameron Diaz replaced as your babysitter by Josef Fritzl. The club did however get £800,000 for him, then the second highest transfer fee received behind Sir Stanley and since only Freddy Eastwood has gone for more.

In all Otto made just 63+1 league appearances for the club, with cup appearances taking his total up to 75+1, before being sold to Judas B*rry F*y.

His spell at B*rm*ngh*m C*ty wasn't the success his talent suggested it should have been as he found himself getting caught in possession and sticking to the white lines a few too many times. In all each start cost the Brummies £32,000 which might seem a lot of money, but £32,000 a game for Ricky Otto was a bargain compared to the £25,000 a game they ended up paying for Kevin Francis:D

He had brief loan spells at Charlton and Notts County and a slightly longer one at Peterborough, but a career of just 154 appearances was a waste of talent. Although he did score a late equaliser at Liverpool, his best years (well year and a half) was certainly at Southend.

From there he drifted away from the game and joined his brother's bookbinding business in Oxford. However when changes in academia relaxed binding requirements, demand dropped and Otto became a probation officer instead, trying to help youngsters fulfil their potential in a way he never quite managed.

Otto will be remembered fondly by all who saw his erratic genius for the Blues. Where he may fall down is longevity as the Otto era was short and sweet. His legacy should have been substantial, but the £800,000 received for him was largely frittered away. I suppose it probably paid for another couple of seasons in the second tier. What Otto can boast is having played at the highest level the club has ever featured at, that combined with the Anglo-Italian exploits might be able to counter the short nature of his stay. Otto was certainly memorable, but was he one of the dozen greatest?

*If anyone can recall Firmani, I'd love to hear how he compared to Otto.


Can i point out if any doubt,this paragraph is directed at JUDAS Fry not Otto,to anyone to young to remember the era.
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,901
Location
Old Leigh
I'd add Chris Powell to the list of players who were so far better than their team-mates that it was embarassing.
 

hindle_666

Manager
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
1,129
He scored a hat-trick against Brentford once. We still lost. Happy days.



Should opposition votes be counted in an SUFC related Hall Of Fame?????
If they do can you withdraw my vote YB,because i dont think thats right.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

macima

Youth Team
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
178
An undoubtedly talented player who was a joy to watch, however I'm not sure if I can give Hall of Fame status to someone whole ultimately left us to join Judas at Birmingscum. I'll have a think on this one.

Mark Mac
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
48,083
Location
Benfleet
I'm finding this increasingly more and more difficult as it goes on, with less and less places available, it's making the decision to find a top 12 much tougher. Heart says undoubtedly yes, but head is saying now hold on a moment......I think I too, need to have a ponder.
 

SUFC Forever

Manager
Joined
Sep 2, 2007
Messages
1,807
Should opposition votes be counted in an SUFC related Hall Of Fame?????
If they do can you withdraw my vote YB,because i dont think thats right.

What is your problem? JS is a long established poster and well respected here who has as much right to his opinion as anybody.

The fact that he obviously watched Ricky Otto play in many of his 96 matches for Leyton Orient is obviously rellevant too as indeed Otto played for SUFC and the O's (as you may or may not know) and was a favourite at both.

Basically wanting your vote retracted because JS has had (in your opinion) the gall to vote on a Southend forum quite frankly does not reflect well on yourself and I find your attitude quite pathetic.
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
In fact in all our years in the second tier, I think only three players stood out as clearly better than all their team-mates: Collymore, Royce and Otto (although Marsh and Whelan flashed their class, their legs had gone).

I'd have to include Chrissy Powell into that triumvirate...

I'm voting yes. He's still probably the most exciting player I've ever seen play for us - well, him & Stan.

Matt
 

Pubey

Guest
A yes vote from me. Coincided with when I started watching the blues, an insanely talented and exciting player, scored goals, wound up defenses and wowed the crowed... might not have been around very long but his impact was immediate, and I'll never forget how good it was to watch him. In my relatively short supporting career, Eastwood doesn't come close on the "excitement" factor, Otto is truly a legend. He would destroy teams for 90 minutes, boss the game from front to back, pop up all over the pitch and would shoot from anywhere!.

Legend
 

palexander

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
7,673
Location
C*lchester
One of my all time favourite players and (in my time) a genuine Southend legend.

At a time where we were transformed by Fry into a really exciting attacking force (and Jason Lee), it was Otto that embodied that new verve and spirit.

The goal v Luton was just superb and in my top 5 all time Southend goals too.

I absolutely loved Ricky Otto and would have no hesitation sticking him in the HoF.

(another memory I have of him is when he completely roasted Des Lyttle in the first game of the season after Stan left and got Lyttle sent off after breaking away following a Forest corner...)
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
23,031
Location
NY Parks Dept
Should opposition votes be counted in an SUFC related Hall Of Fame?????
If they do can you withdraw my vote YB,because i dont think thats right.

Any registered user is entitled to vote. Besides...

1) Jonny Stokes is well establised poster on this board, not some fly-by-night just looking to cause bother like some away fans we get

2) Fans of sides other than Southend are a tiny minority on this site and are unlikely to be able to make a huge difference.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
6,800
Location
Oregon
It's a tough call because of his short stay with the Blues, but if Stanley's in then Ricky has to go in too. The most exciting player I've ever seen in a Southend shirt - it's a tragedy that he basically ****ed his talent away, as hindle has rightly said, this is a man who should have played for England. I'll never forget his perofrmance in that Oxford game, you have to produce something very special to deprive a hat-trick scorer of the MOTM award, but that's just what he did on this occasion.
 

Gremlin

Life President
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
5,141
Location
In the works
Should opposition votes be counted in an SUFC related Hall Of Fame?????

How is it an "opposition" vote when he voted the same way as you?

My take is that to be worthy of HoF status you need to have been around longer than it takes to make 75 appearances. Having said that, I enjoyed watching him a lot. On his day he was a cracking player.
 

Napster

The Horse with no Name⭐
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,419
Location
The wilds of Kent
A great player and one of my favourites to watch. But he wouldn't make my all-time top 11, so feels wrong to put him in the HoF.
 
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