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Life President
Apr 7, 2005
I started supporting Southend as a kid, and have been on and off over 30 years (with plenty of years constantly going and a massive chunk where I didnt go at all).

In that time I've seen promotions with Dave Webb's team, Tilsons promotions, beating Man Utd etc but today was without doubt the best day I've had in all those years.

Getting promoted to Division One for the first time with Webb and back to the Championship with Tilson were incredible times, yet both occurred when I wasnt there on the day, ie Swansea/Bury. The home game against Bristol City when we won the actual title was a pretty special experience of course, one memory right up there with the best.

However today just tops it all.

I've said before that getting promoted in the play-offs is the best way to get promoted, and that has proven to be so true. Thank you Morecambe, you did us a massive favour. It would have been great to win up there and be promoted, but there is no way that would have felt half as good as I felt this evening.

We got to Wembley about 2pm, we were far too early and it was raining and cold and miserable, but we were in good spirits. We got interviewed on BBC Essex along Wembley Way, probably because there wasnt much option at that time, then we headed to the Civic Centre just to get warm and dry where we stayed till about 3-00pm before venturing out to soak up the atmosphere (accidentally spending 20 minutes in the Wycombe "pub" area).

The game was not a classic in the football sense, but you will never beat drama like that. I thought we were the better side without being able to say we clearly deserved to be winning, yet somehow we found ourselves behind, and typically to one of those sods law goal when it hits Bentley on its way out. Cue a 20 minutes or so of despair, it was over, we had lost. I had already cleared our seats and had my bag on my shoulder as I couldnt bear to see Wycombe celebrating for any longer than I had to. Then it went in and everything changed. We went berserk and that feeling was incredible, and we hadnt even won the game, just managed to stay in it to penalties.

Even in penalties we looked like we may have lost it again when Coker missed, yet every player after kept burying them and whilst they did I felt Bentley would stop one, and he did. Cue incredible scenes of relief and celebration, well most of you know as you were there.

My kids attend football because I do, today they experienced it I felt for the first time as supporters, my son got into the game and the experience in a way I've never seen before, he was so into the celebrating and enjoying the success it was brilliant to see. Ive personally not felt as emotional before as I did when that penalty was saved.

Having that experience with my family, the fact we have been in this league for 5 years after years of financial problems and disappointments in 2 play offs and missing out on the automatics just made this priceless for me.

Brilliant stuff, and Ive not even drunk a drop :smile: