Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Congratulations to Southend United

Southend United are promoted to the Championship for the 2006/07 season as League One Champions.

This is a tremendous achievement for the club and its young manager Steve Tilson, an Essex man who is a former Southend player. When he took over as manager, the team were in League Two (the old Fourth Division), but he has done a terrific job of revitalisation .

Before Tilson was appointed, it was rumoured that Stan Collymore, the former Southend and England player who played for several other clubs including Liverpool and Leicester City, was to take over, assisted by Steve Walsh and Lee Sharpe.

I have been following Southend for over fifty years, since the new ground at Roots Hall opened. For many years I never missed a home game, and in the 70s I watched matches in the company of the players who were not appearing in that particular match.

At that time, I was General Manager of the Classic Twin Cinemas at Westcliff, and numbered amongst my friends lots of footballers, including Bill Coulson, David Cunningham, Chris Guthrie, Tommy Horsfall, Kevin Johnson, Terry Johnson, Alistair Love and Peter Taylor.

Sadly, it’s a long time since I was able to watch Southend United, but I still of course regard them as my team.

Probably the most prominent member of the team today is Freddy Eastwood, the striker who was signed from non-League Grays Athletic, but other talented players include Darryl Flahavan, Spencer Prior, Kevin Maher, Mark Bentley and Mark Gower.

Well done Steve Tilson and well done Southend United.