The Shrimpers Trust, in its present form, was established in July 2000 (as a formal company limited without guarantee and having no share capital). Initially called The Southend United Supporters Club Trust (SUSCT) which sounded a bit formal hence the rebadge to reflect a more modern and informal organisation
From an historical viewpoint, In the mid 1990s there were 2 fanzines dedicated to Southend United. One was What's the Story Southend Glory and the other Shrimp Season. The editor of What’s the Story Southend Glory Tony Hall got a debate going about reforming the Supporters Club.
Vic Jobson the Club Chairman had died and there were real doubts amongst supporters about whether there would continue to be a club to support and what the future held. There was talk of the club being sold to property developers which given what had happened to Brighton and Hove Albion FC sent shudders through many fans. Tony Hall called a meeting at the Bubbles Bar in Wickford where the Supporters Club was relaunched and Committee members nominated.
Tony Hall became its first chairman and the ever present Trevor Bashford the vice chairman. Originally it was called the Independent Southend United Supporters Club, then the Southend United Supporters Club, then the Southend United Supporters Club Trust and now the Shrimpers Trust.
However it was and is the same entity and has tried to do the same thing which is to provide Southend supporters with a voice within the football club and the local community, giving them a more active role in the running of Southend United.
Links were quickly forged with the club and since these early days there has been regular communication between the club’s management and the Trust.
In July 2000 the Supporters Club became a Trust (as a formal company limited without guarantee and having no share capital) with much of the drive for this coming from Derek Murr the editor of the other fanzine Shrimp Season.
One of the most important developments was the creation of monthly liaison meetings between the club and the Trust, a vital cog in communication which means that Southend supporters are canvassed for their opinions before important decisions are made at board level.
More recently, and in addition, members of the Trust committee sit on the Youth Development Association, the group formed to govern and distribute lottery funding to the youth department.
Our longer term goal, as it always has been, is to be represented on the board of the football club with a democratically elected representative.
The Shrimpers Trust plays an integral role in increasing the awareness of Southend United within the local community, playing its part at Meet The Blues Day, the Southend Carnival, Rayleigh Lights and other community events. The painting of a full-liveried supporters coach in October 2005 attracted the attention of The Sun newspaper as well as football fans across the country.
The Shrimper’s Trust has been running the official away travel for many seasons and runs coaches to every away game, every season on a not for profit basis for its members.
The Trust’s fundraising arm raises money for many Southend United related purposes, the primary beneficiary currently being the youth department. A list of Trust Donations since the 2005/06 Season can be found elsewhere on this site.
The Trust also donates amounts of money to charity via its Player of the Month scheme and occasionally via joint ventures - 2009 saw 7 Trust members raise many thousands of pounds walking from Roots Hall to Colchester’s ground – proceeds were split 50/50 between the Trust funds and Havens Hospices.
The Trust runs regular Events and fund raising activities including:
The Shrimpers Trust now has an extensive range of merchandise which can be viewed and purchased via this website or from the Shrimpers Bar on match days.
Each Autumn, the AGM provides all Trust members with a chance to take-up an active role within the committee, as well as a full democratic election for key roles within the organisation. All help is welcome, even if members do not feel that they can contribute enough time to become a serving committee member.
Around the town you can see 2 plaques erected by the Trust, both of which reflect its change of name. In Hamlet Court Road there is a plaque saying Independent Supporters Club celebrating the childhood home of David Jack, the son of Bob Jack, Southend United’s first manager. As well as having an illustrious footballing career, David Jack became manager of Blues in 1934. On the Blue Boar in Victoria Avenue there is a plaque celebrating the foundation of the club in 1906 put up by the Trust when it was the Southend United Supporters Club.
Membership over a long-term period is still capped at £5 per annum, whilst even twelve-monthly membership from £5 represents excellent value for money, and is easily recouped by travelling just a couple of times on Shrimpers Trust coaches to away fixtures.
The membership of the Club/Trust has steadily risen over since its inception with their now being a total of 1300 members including over 170 life members and 90 Southend Junior Shrimpers.
Our match day presence centres around the Shrimpers bar where many of the committee can be found prior to home games.
The committee members of the Trust are always willing to listen to any idea that makes the Trust and/or Football Club more effective
To Help not hinder!