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The Horse with no Name⭐
Oct 27, 2003
The wilds of Kent
Sport.co.uk caught up with goalkeeper-turned-comedian Terry Alderton, whom fellow funny man and comedy genius Eddie Izzard described as "a fantastic comedy mind". In Part 1, Terry recalls his beloved Southend United, rooming with a certain Mark Bosnich, and he names his all-time favourite Shrimpers.

So, Terry, didn’t you used to be a goalkeeper for Southend United?

TA: That got spun into something bigger than it really was. But yeah, I was down there when I was about 17 or 18 but they let me go ‘cause I was rubbish, basically. But there was that famous story of me making that great save, holding the ball and doing the Michael Jackson moonwalk. Unfortunately, those were the days of the six steps rule, so the referee blew me up for an indirect free-kick which they scored from, and we lost 1-0. That was kind of my marching orders!

Then we did The Match on Sky 1 and, after that, they signed me, but it was more of a publicity stunt than anything. But I still got to sit on the bench against Swansea, which was great. I got completely upstaged by Freddy Eastwood on his debut; I think he scored inside seven seconds and then got a hat-trick. He completely killed my day! (Laughs)

Who was on your team for that Sky 1 match?

TA: Er…Darren Campbell…Alex…bloody hell, you’ve got me now. He was a cricketer. Alex…(Stewart) anyway, there was Darren Campbell, Ralph Little, Alec Stewart, Ben Shepherd, Harvey [from So Solid Crew]. Harvey’s hilarious. I roomed with Mark Bosnich! Mike McClean was another one.

I’d been doing a bit of training with Mike and I said to him, “I’ll room with you” and he said, “Of course”; we said we’d room together all the way up to it. When we got there, I’d already told Sheps [Ben Shepherd, a friend of Terry’s] that I’d already said to Squeaky [McClean] that I’d room with him and a few others, and he said, “That’s cool, no problem”. Anyway, we get there and, all of a sudden, everyone’s disappeared. Squeaky’s ****ed off with the hierarchy – someone who was in Coronation Street, kind of thing – and I was left with two bags. One bag is my bag, and the other bag is Mark Bosnich’s bag. So I get lumped in with Bosnich! (Laughs)

What was Bosnich like?

TA: I knew him when he was young, sort of thin, fit, playing football and he was going out with a friend of mine. So that’s how I’d met him a couple of times. Then seeing him later, after he’d been with Sophie Anderton, who I worked with, so I knew what she was all about already…anyway, he was totally different; he was all swollen and sweaty and really not compos mentis. But, as we went on, he sort of opened up a bit and we got on alright, but…(laughs)…he’s interesting. Let’s leave it at that.

The Shrimpers are sitting mid-table in League One. Do you think there’s any chance of a promotion push?

TA: We’re at the dizzy heights of 12th after beating Stockport on Saturday! I went to Brentford away the other night. Me and my mate Ernie were sitting there and he hit the nail on the head when he said, “We’re watching two teams that aren’t going to do anything this season”. It’s more than ever coming down to money, isn’t it?

Also, sadly, the manager got rid of a few players who I would never have got rid of – like Michael Kightly - so maybe there’s been a few strange decisions. I don’t think [we can get promoted], from what I’ve seen. There’s moments but there’s not a consistency. Jean-Francois Christophe shows flashes of brilliance. Premier League brilliance! It’s a very tight league; from memory, there’s only something like six points between tenth and the bottom club.

Is Dougie Freedman still going strong?

TA: He’s good. He brings a senior head and he’s a smashing fella, just a normal guy. I think he brings a lot to the team, as did [Shaun] Goater. Goater was a revelation for us.

So you fed the Goat?

TA: We fed him big time! What was nice was that, on the last day of the season, when we were already promoted, loads of Man City and Bristol City fans [Goater’s former clubs] turned up on the day. I think he shed a little tear. Or he had something in his eye!

Are you happy with the job Steve Tilson is doing as manager?

TA: Yeah, Tilly’s great. I don’t think he’s got very much money so it must be frustrating for him. I’ve known Steve for years so it would be hard for me to knock him. He seems to be alright with what he’s doing down there; I mean, you’re hands are tied when you haven’t got much cash. He’s made a few good appointments but, like I said, letting Michael Kightly go was unbelievable…but what do I know? I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. I think that with the finance and resources he’s got, he’s doing alright.

Who are the best players you’ve ever seen at Roots Hall? Could you name a top 5?

TA: Well, Stan Collymore would have to be in there. Let’s see…my favourites are bizarre, ‘cause they’re not famous or ones that most fans would choose. The first centre-forward I ever saw down there, and I loved him, was Steve ‘Inch’ Phillips. They called him ‘Inch’ because he was tiny; he had these massive legs, but he was tiny. So he sticks in my mind.

Another one would be Mervin Cawston, ‘cause he was the first goalkeeper I watched down at Southend. And the first I trained with. So I love him. They call him ‘Merv the Swerve’ for some reason. I don’t know why!

So, Steve Phillips, Mervin Cawston…and Stan Collymore, of course, it would be ridiculous not to say him. (Deliberates) There’s so many to choose from over the years. I suppose you’d have to lump Ronnie Whelan in there; he became manager as well. For a laugh, I’ll say Phil Gridelet, ‘cause he’s a mate of mine! (Laughs) All the fans’ll be going, “Is he having a laugh??” Have I got one more?

You’ve had five but feel free to name a substitute…

TA: Ooooh…probably Shaun Goater.


Thailand Shrimper
Oct 28, 2003
Hmmm not sure about his new act, not that his previous act was riotous.