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Hall of Fame

During the clubs history, the fans of Southend United have seen hundreds of players lucky enough to pull on the shirt of the Shrimpers. Some have been said to be fantastic or good or even abysmal but there have been many that can rightly claim their place in the Hall of Fame and to be deemed legends. Here is our selection.



Bob Jack was appointed manager in 1906 when the club was formed and without his knowledge and skill the club may well have not survived the early years. He'd been around. He was a member of the Bolton team that reached the 1896 FA Cup semi final and was Bolton's leading goalscorer in 1897. He was Plymouth Argyle's first professional player in 1905. He moved to 254 Hamlet Court Road with his wife Georgina and his 3 sons David, Rollo and Donald. All his sons would play professional football and David would captain England. By the time Plymouth enticed him back to Home Park, the Shrimpers had won the Southern League second division twice and become established in the Southern League first division. He had a great nose for a player and discovered Harold Halse amongst others. He was an expert bowler and won the Essex County Bowling Club's Challenge cup in 1908,1909 and 1910, and although Scottish, played bowls for England. He is acknowledged to have been Plymouth Argyle's most successful manager during his 28 year spell and returned to Southend in 1938 to scout for his son David, then Shrimpers' manager himself. He died in May 1943 at his home, 17, Nelson Road, Westcliff. His ashes were returned to Home Park and scattered on the pitch. Without Bob Jack we wouldn't be here today.



Harold Halse was another Bob Jack signing. He scored 91 goals in 65 games in the Shrimpers first season in the Southern League Division 2. In 1908 he was sold to Manchester United for £350, the maximum transfer fee allowed at the time. It was probably nearly double as we sold another player for the same fee to Man U as a make weight at the same time. He won the cup with Manchester United in 1909 and with Aston Villa in 1913. He scored 6 goals in one game for Manchester United against Bristol City.



Liverpool born George joined the newly formed Southend United in 1906. He played 4 times for England, his first cap being in 1902 against Scotland at Ibrox. The stand collapsed during the game and 26 people were killed and 500 injured. He was deeply affected by this and haunted by the scenes till his death. He played for Everton, Southampton (where he was on the losing side in the 1902 Cup Final and played alongside C B Fry) and Portsmouth. After he finished playing he became the Shrimpers manager from 1910-11. He lived most of his life at 225 North Road just round the corner from the Nelson until his death in 1942.



Rhylborn Jimmy Evans joined the club in 1919 from Ton Pentre. A left back, he won 4 Welsh caps whilst playing for the Shrimpers. In 1919-20 he was our top scorer with 10 goals, all from the penalty spot, which made him the only defender ever to finish a campaign as top scorer for a first class club. His penalty style was unique too, he would signal to the referee from the back that he was about to take the kick, then would run from his deep position to crack the ball into the net. We were forced to sell him to Burnley for £1,000 in 1923 as we needed the money, though Ted Birnie had started to rebuild the team around him. Jimmy died in his beloved home town of Rhyl in 1975 aged 81.



Jimmy Shankly, Bill's brother, played 147 games for the Shrimpers between 1928 and 1933 and scored 100 League and Cup goals. In the season 1928-9 he scored a club record 35 goals, a record that stood for 29 years until Sammy McCrory equaled it. Despite his success in front of goal the fans were less than impressed and was often the target for the Boo Boys. Nothing much changes!



A David Jack signing, prompted by his father Bob, then the Plymouth Argyle manager, George McKenzie was the most capped player in the Shrimpers history whilst playing for the club. George played in goal for Eire 9 times during his time at Southend. In all he played 142 times for the Shrimpers.



Such was the stature of the Scot, Dave Robinson in the history of the club that he had his first testimonial match in 1934, when David Jack came to watch and was persuaded to join the Shrimpers as manager, and his second in 1970. Five foot five but as hard as nails, Dave Robinson joined us from Leeds in 1928 and played 317 games until forced to hang up his boots due to injury in 1940. He went on to become a fixture at Southend being assistant trainer for 13 years under Wilf Copping and Wilf Dixon and on the staff until his retirement in 1970. He was still helping out at the club when he died in 1986 aged 86, having spent nearly 60 years with the club. A minute's silence was observed at the home game immediately after his death.



Qualifies as one of the finest players of his generation. The son of Bob Jack, the Shrimpers first manager, David Jack spent the formative years of his life in Southend and attended Leigh Road school (later renamed Hamlet Court). He won the cup twice with Bolton, once with Arsenal and the Championship 3 times with Arsenal. He scored the first goal at Wembley in 1923 in the White Horse final. He won 9 England caps, 4 as captain. He moved to Herbert Chapman's Arsenal in 1928 for the world's first five-figure sum (£10,800). He scored 298 goals in a career spanning 590 matches. He was a pallbearer at Herbert Chapman's funeral and was voted one of the top hundred players by the Football League this Century in 1998. A portrait of him was in the National Portrait gallery's "Sporting Heroes" exhibition in 1998. He became manager of Southend in 1934 and lived at Tudor Lodge 34 The Drive and 17 Mount Avenue Westcliff. He played once for the Shrimpers in the FA Cup because of the maximum wage rules. Though probably too reserved to be a successful manager the Shrimpers under Jack did have their moments. We drew 4-4 with Spurs in the cup in 1936 at White Hart Lane, beat Golders Green 10-1 in the cup in 1934 (our highest win only achieved twice since) and our highest league victory 9-2 against Newport County in 1936.



Alf Smirk died at his home in Southend in 1997 aged 79. A speedy winger, Alf was from the north-east but made his home in Southend when he moved from Sunderland Bus Company FC to Southend United. He played 114 games and scored 32 goals between 1938 and 1948. It would have been a lot more but for the war. After he finished playing he stayed on in the town and became the scourge of many a player who he regularly lambasted in his column in the Southend Standard.



Frank Walton played 154 times for the Shrimpers at left back. Born in the town, he became chairman of the club in 1978. The South Stand is named after him in his honour.



When SUFC President John Woodcock was asked shortly before his death in 2001 who his favourite player was, he said "Jimmy McAlinden" without a moments hesitation. Born in Belfast, Jimmy McAlinden played as a teenager for Belfast Celtic, won an Irish Cup winners medal, 2 Northern Ireland caps and then moved to Portsmouth. He won the 1939 Cup Final with Portsmouth when they beat Wolves 4-1. The war interrupted what would have been a glittering career. After the war he resigned for Portsmouth. He won 2 caps for Eire and then a third Northern Ireland cap against England in 1947.He then moved to Stoke but was signed for the Shrimpers in October 1948.



Great Yarmouth born Roy Hollis is Southend's highest ever goal scorer with 135 goals in 260 League and Cup appearances. Needless to say, Blues fans were not that impressed calling him "Gormless" Hollis as many of his goals went in off any part of the lanky striker's body but his foot or head. He surpassed Jimmy Shankly's record of 100 League goals after only 176 appearances.



Belfast born Sammy McCrory, already a proven goalscorer with Linfield, Swansea, Ipswich and Plymouth joined the Shrimpers in 1955. Sammy made his international debut for Northern Ireland in 1957 when a Shrimpers player against England. He scored in the 3-2 win after one of the English players contemptuously called him an old man, which at 33 years old he probably was for his first cap. He scored 99 goals in 222 appearances and in 1960 joined Cambridge. He then returned to Northern Ireland to play and manage Crusaders and then did what a lot of ex pros did in those days and ran a pub.



Sandy Anderson, a Scot, came to the town as a PE instructor for the army at Shoebury Garrison. The Shrimpers fullback holds the record for the number of league games played for the club of 452 League games and 31 in the cup.



Andy Smillie joined the Shrimpers from Scunthorpe in 1964. He'd played for the England youth team and had been with West Ham and Crystal Palace. His time with the Shrimpers didn't coincide with many glory years and he was in the team that was the first Shrimpers team to be relegated since we joined the league in 1920 in the 1965/6 season. Andy was the club captain for a time and a stalwart with prolific goalscorer Billy Best - Smillie delivering the ammunition and Best firing it. The Shrimpers did well in the fourth but couldn't quite make it out during Andy's time with the club. His time coincided with the Friday night football at Roots Hall which started in 1964. In total Andy Smillie played 180 games in all competitions and scored 29 goals from midfield. Andy still lives in the town and runs a cafe called Smiley's on the Little Riviera on Westcliff seafront near Rossis.



Brylcremed black hair dashing down the wing past a leaden footed fullback, followed by a perfect cross and a goal. The great Scot also scored himself, 66 in 306 appearances. His career was ended against Lincoln City, when he broke his leg in a tackle made by the future England manager, Graham Taylor.



One of the few Southend players to be awarded two testimonial games, both against his home town and first club Stoke City, Tony Bentley was bought as a right winger but was successfully converted to a right back. He spent 10 seasons with the club and won the inaugural player of the season award in 1965/6. In all he played 417 times for Blues (plus 2 as sub) and scored 17 goals.



"Six foot two, eyes of blue, Big Bill Garner's after you!" Fans favourite Bill Garner was an uncompromising battler who knew where the goal was. Often the ball, defender and anyone else who got in the way ended up in the net. But Bill had skill as well as passion and his career hit a purple patch with Shrimpers after Arthur Rowley bought him from Bedford Town in 1969. A positive performance in the 1972-3 League Cup 1-0 defeat by Chelsea (whose team included Hollins, Osgood, McCreadie and Lord David himself) led to Rowley's prize asset moving to Stamford Bridge for £80,000. He was included in Don Revie's massive 84 man England squad but never won a cap. Bill played 110 games plus 1 sub appearance for the Shrimpers and scored 47 goals. He starred along with other former Shrimpers players including Peter Taylor in Courtlands veterans side. "Some say God - some say Garner" as they used to say. Bill is currently coaching at SUFC's Centre of Excellence.



Glaswegian Billy Best joined the Shrimpers from Northampton Town in 1968; one of Ernie Shepherd's inspired buys. Voted player of the season twice in his 5 seasons at Roots Hall, Billy was a prolific goalscorer. He hit seven hat-tricks, including 3 goals in a five minute spell against Peterborough when he scored 4 in the game. He scored 5 goals against Brentwood in the cup in 1969. All in all, he scored 123 goals in 247 appearances before returning to Northampton in 1973.



Rochford born Peter "Spud" Taylor was signed at 17 by Ernie Shepherd and made his debut at 18. A winger of pace and skill, his trademark was a mazy dribble. He was sold to Malcolm Allison's Crystal Palace where he won 4 caps as a third division player. He then moved to Spurs. Was a manager for the club for a short time when his lack of success on the pitch coincided with a spell out of the team through injury of Ronnie Whelan. The poor results and the usual unreal expectations from the "boo boys" that followed led to his sacking. He subsequently became England U21's most successful manager until he was relieved of his duties in 1999. He took Gillingham to the Second Division playoff final against Wigan at Wembley and won promotion for them to the First Division for the first time in their history. He then became manager of Premier League Leicester City but was sacked in 2001 and joined Brighton as manager. In between he did manage England briefly until Sven Goran Eriksson took over the post full time. He returned to the England fold with his second spell as U21's coach which he combined with the Managers job at Hull City. Since then he has managed various clubs including Crystal Palace, Stevenage Borough and Wycombe Wanderers.



Bought from his local club Middlesbrough in 1972 for £15,000 Alan Moody holds the record for the most league and cup appearances in a Blues shirt. 506 appearances. A commanding centre half, totally reliable and a brilliant penalty taker (24 out of 27 attempts) including 4 in successive games. He was rewarded with a testimonial against West Ham in 1984.



Bilston born and a West Brom fan, Ronnie was named after the legendary Baggies player Ronnie Allen. Hard work, graft, unselfishness and class epitomised the Ron Pountney way of playing. He never gave anything less than 150% and made goals galore for his team-mates. He scored himself too, 26 goals in 349 League appearances and 9 goals in 54 Cup games. A testimonial with West Ham was Ron's reward although regrettably it was cancelled because of West Ham's fixture congestion that season. A group of committed fans finally rearranged the match, and on 1st August 2000, Ron got his testimonial, 14 years later. Ron currently woks locally as a painter & decorator and is still a regular visitor to Roots Hall.



One of Blues' first Black players, Richard soon became a crowd favourite. His trademark was his pace and mobility. Whether with his back to goal or running into space, he made the lumbering big defenders of the old Fourth Division look what most of them were..... What a start Richard made to his Blues career. Signed from Orient in 1985, Richard's first game was against.......Orient. Four goals in a 5-1 thrashing in your first game is unlikely to ever be bettered. But it didn't stop there. 104 appearances (1 as sub) and 56 goals had the scouts of senior clubs sniffing around and Sheffield United eventually snapped him up for a miserly tribunal fixed fee of £90,000. Most fans thought he could have done better than the Blades. However his undoing was injuries and he never really fulfilled his potential.



David joined Blues in November 1987 after a career with Walthamstow Avenue, Brentford, Portsmouth, Reading and Cambridge. A hard working skilful striker, Dave was the Blues equivalent of Steve Bull and created many goals for himself by hard work and skill as well as putting away those chances provided by his team mates. The Blues faithful were surprised when he was released by the club and allowed to join Gillingham in 1990. He then had a very successful career in local non league clubs. 132 games - 69 cracking goals. David can now be found in the Blues Lounge at Roots Hall on match days where he is a host to the guests.



What can you say about Stan? Bought by Colin Murphy in November 1992, he almost single handedly saved us from the drop by his trademark solo goals. If you haven't got the video, The Collymore Collection, then shame on you. There isn't a tap in amongst them. Who can forget the solo goal against Huddersfield at Leeds Road, the double strike against Bristol Rovers that the keeper never even saw or Stanley throwing his boots triumphantly into the crowd on the final day of the season after the match against Luton. Sold to Nottingham Forest for over £2 million and then Liverpool and Villa. After moving briefly to Real Oviedo in Spain after a rather unhappy time at Leicester and Bradford City, Stanley hung his boots up in 2001 at the age of 30. What a waste. Stanley says his happiest moments as a player were at Roots Hall. You can come back anytime Stan. 18 goals in 33 League and Cup games.



Ricky's delayed start to professional football due to his time spent courtesy of Her Majesty only increased the affection that a huge number of Blues fans had for the wayward genius that was Ricky Otto. Signed from Orient in 1993 he blossomed under Barry Fry in a short but meteoric spell at Blues. On his day a breathtaking mercurial dribbler of pure class and magic that no-one would ever forget. Unfortunately he followed "Judas" to Birmingham for £800,000 in 1994. The fee eased the faithful's pain. Unbelievably the Birmingham fans never took to him. Lesson learned. There's no place like home. 75 appearances plus 1 as sub. 19 goals.



The wiggle, the smile, the class. His trademark was easing the opposition player away from goal towards the corner flag and then pouncing and before the player knew what was happening, Chrissie was up the wing with the ball. One of the most popular Blues players of all time. He was sold to Derby for £600,000 and was in their Premiership promotion side. Following this he moved to Charlton and played for then in the Premiership. Chris was awarded his first England cap at the age of 31 when he played in the friendly against Spain in February 2001. A well deserved honour for one of the nicest men in football. Since those days he was played for West Ham, Watford and Leicester City.



Former painter and decorator Simon was signed by Dave Webb from Heybridge Swifts, Roycie played behind decidedly dodgy defences in our 2 relegations. His debut was in the 1-0 Roots Hall victory over West Ham and he never looked back. A terrific shot stopper and a real crowd favourite. In spite of the relegations, few felt Roycie was to blame, indeed without him, some reckoned we'd have been relegated before Christmas. Moved to Premiership Charlton before the start of the 1998 season but had a serious knee injury after playing a number of Premiership games. He was then reunited with Peter Taylor at Leicester City. After this Royce had many loan spells and permanent deals with Charlton (again), QPR and Gillingham. Made over 100 appearances for Blues between 1991 and 1998.

DAVE WEBB                                                                                                                                         1986-87, 1988-92, 2000-01

Dave Webb holds a unique position in the history of Blues managers. He is the only man to have been at the helm on three separate occasions and the only one who has achieved the seemingly impossible of getting Blues promotion to the promised land of the old Second Division. Webby achieved this feat in the glorious 1990/91 season.
He joined as manager in June 1986 and the following season we gained promotion from the Fourth Division. However it was Paul Clark who was at the helm when promotion was gained with Dave Webb having one of his near legendary falling outs with Southend's supremo Vic Jobson, this time over money for new signings. "I've been treated like a dirty rag," he said as he walked out with immediate effect.
Webby returned in December 1988 and although he couldn't prevent the club already on an inexorable slide back down to the Fourth from being relegated, he achieved back to back promotions in the next two seasons.
The first season in the Second Division was explosive and for a brief moment on 1st January 1992 Blues were top of the League. However there was another falling out with Vic this time over players contracts and Webb put in his notice. We hardly won another game as the young team's spirit and confidence drained away and we finished 12th.
Webb's trademark is his ability to spot young talent and give these youngsters the confidence and self belief to blossom. The list of players either bought by Webby or already at the club who he improved is a long one, with Simon Royce, Chris Powell, Spencer Prior, Justin Edinburgh and Dean Austin all playing Premiership football. An uncompromising personality Dave Webb is held in almost God like esteem by most Blues fans.
He joined as manager for a third time in October 2000. His brief was to trim the wage bill that was sending the club to bankruptcy and bring in young hungry players that we could afford. He resigned in October 2001 saying his heart wasn't in it any more. However the legacy bequeathed to his successor Rob Newman apart from the club being a lot healthier financially was a number of promising but raw players.

STEVE TILSON                                                                                                                                                  1989-97, 2002-10

Steve was born in Wickford on the 27th July 1966. After leaving school, he worked on the buildings and at weekends played for local clubs Basildon United, Bowers United and then Witham Town in the Essex Senior League. Whilst at Witham, his midfield skills were noted by his manager, Danny Greaves who persuaded Southend Manager Dave Webb to give Steve a trial. After one reserve game, Webb was sufficiently impressed to offer Steve a contract on the spot. He jumped at the chance, signed up and was able to fulfil a boyhood dream to play in the blue shirt of the Shrimpers.
Tilly made his debut for Southend United on the 11th February 1989 as a substitute in a 0-4 defeat at Mansfield Town and scored his first goal on the 10th March in a home win over Wolves. He was known as an attacking midfielder who never gave less than 100%.

During his Southend career, he played 225 games, plus 43 substitute appearances scoring 31 goals including a hat-trick in the famous 10-1 win over Aldershot Town in the Leyland Daf Cup. He also went on loan to Brentford FC for a short spell in 1993. He played at Roots Hall for nine seasons and then with an eye on a testimonial year, the manager Ronnie Whelan told him out of the blue that his services were no longer required as part of a cost cutting exercise!

Steve was enticed to Canvey Island by Jeff King to spearhead their rapid rise through the non-league ranks, scoring well over 100 goals and capping it all when he lifted the FA Trophy at Villa Park in May 2001. However in 1999, he had taken a part-time post as the Director of Southend United's Youth Academy responsible for overseeing and developing the raw skills of all the Centre of Excellences players.

It is no wonder, when Southend United fans were asked to nominate their Player of the Millennium, their choice was the local boy, Steve Tilson who only wanted to play for his local team but his successes at Southend United did not finish with his playing career.

In July 2002, Steve rejoined Southend on a full time basis and whilst still running the youth set-up, managed the reserve side for Rob Newman and Steve Wignall and still had the occasional first team outing. He played a further 7 times for the first team including 4 substitute appearances and played his last match as a substitute against Oxford United at home on 28th December 2003.

With the sacking of Wignall and after the temporary charge-ship of Dave Webb, Steve became caretaker manager in November 2003 and then given the job until the end of the season. He turned round the team’s performance and led them to a mid-table position. He led the team out to play Blackpool FC team to the LDV Vans Final at Cardiff in March 2004.
Accepting the post as manager, he returned to Cardiff again twice, coming second to Wrexham in the LDV Vans Final in 2005 and a few weeks later was triumphant when the Shrimpers clinched a place in League 1 with a thrilling extra time win over Lincoln City in the League 2 Play-Off Final.

In 2005/2006, the fans were hoping for a season of stability and survival in League 1 but the manager astounded us and the football world with his team becoming worthy Champions of League 1 and returning to the Championship after a decade away.

Promotion to the Championship would finish as the highlight of Steve Tilson’s managerial career with the Shrimpers. In the Championship 2006/2007 season, there was not much to shout about but there was of course the historic defeat of Manchester United, where Freddy Eastwood despatched a now famous free-kick which left Alex Ferguson stunned and saw the red devils go down 1-0 and Southend progress to a League cup quarter final encounter with Spurs. Later that season Southend United were relegated back to League one.

Southend, under the guidance of Steve Tilson picked themselves back up and finished their first season sixth, but falling short in a play-off semi final against Doncaster Rovers. The momentum that took Steve Tilson’s men up eventually took them down to League two in 2009/2010 after a financial crisis at the club which saw the players unpaid on several occasions.

On July 4th 2010, Southend United said goodbye to a true Southend United legend as he was placed on gardening leave. Whilst the managerial career had its up and downs, the supporters enjoyed the ride.



Freddy joined Southend United in October 2004, initially on loan from Grays Athletic. He made his debut for the club in spectacular style, scoring the opener after 7.7 seconds, an English league record for a debut, and going on to score two more to record his first hat-trick for the club as Southend beat top of the table Swansea City 4–2. Eastwood joined the Blues on a permanent basis in November 2004 for an undisclosed fee in a three-year deal from Grays and he finished the 2004–05 season with 24 goals from 42 appearances in all competitions and scored the opening goal in the club's 2–0 win over Lincoln City in the League Two Play-off Final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in May 2005.

Eastwood scored Southend United's 5,000th League goal on 2 January 2006 when he smashed home the late winner against Blackpool as the Shrimpers went to the top of League One. He scored twice at Swansea City on 29 April 2006 to earn Southend United a 2–2 draw, a result which sealed promotion to the Football League Championship. Southend later finished as champions of the division.

In the Championship season, Eastwood scored his 50th goal for the club in the opening game of the season against Stoke City. It would prove to be a difficult season for the striker and despite scoring 11 goal in the Championship, Eastwood was unable to prevent relegation back to League One. The highlight of the Shrimpers season came when Eastwood scored the only goal, a spectacular 30-yard free kick, during the League Cup fourth round win against Manchester United on 7 November 2006 to put the holders out of the competition and the Shrimpers through to the quarter final. To this date Southend are the only team in the football league to have a 100% win record against the red devils.

Eastwood left Southend at the end of the 2007 season to join then Championship club, Wolverhampton Wanderers for £1.5 million. During his time at Wolves the "gypsy" forward earnt his first international cap with Wales. He is currently contracted to Coventry City, however, he is free to now leave the club as he has been deemed surplus to requirements.

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