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Southend United F.C. Ex-Players Association (SUEPA)

 
THE GROWING FORCE OF SUEPA
 
The Southend United Ex-Players Association (SUEPA) was formed by The Shrimpers Trust on 10 January 2018. From a standing start it has now grown in to one of the largest and most dynamic former player groups in the country.

Our inspiration was a tribute campaign run by the Trust in the Autumn of 2017 for our record appearances holder Alan Moody, when just over £11,500 was raised by the fans to help purchase a specially adapted campaign to meet Alan's new needs. Alan came back to Roots Hall to receive the cheque with a number of his old team-mates and friends present. The day went so well that we simply thought 'we must do more of that', and so SUEPA was born.

The aims of SUEPA are:
 
  • To help rekindle player relationships by putting ex-players in touch with each other
  • On occasion and where possible, to help ex-players facing difficulties
  • To celebrate past achievements
  • To hold events from time to time
  • Help promote a positive image for the club
  • Allow fans to meet their former heroes when appropriate

... oh, and to also create a few new memories along the way.

As of August 2020 we have 251 ex-player/coaching staff members, spanning the decades right from the 1950's to the present day. Members include all 12 of the players who took part on that famous night back in 1979 when Southend held European champions to a draw in the Roots Hall snow, and even the whole of the 1982/83 squad.
 
There's all the names you would hope and expect to be in SUEPA, including Tony Bentley, Billy Best, Bill Garner, Mervyn Cawston, Frankie Banks, Dave Cusack, Steve Phillips, David Crown, Roy McDonough, Steve Tilson, Freddy Eastwood, Shaun Goater, Ryan Lennard and many many more. Dave Smith and Barry Fry are amongst our coaching staff members.
 
SUEPA President is none other than Adam Barrett, who is hugely supportive of what we do.
 
 

Membership is entirely free, with activities generally being self-funded or supported by the Trust or kind donations received. We also work very closely with the club who have been generous in providing hospitality facilities for a number of match day events when we've hosted former players returning to Roots Hall. Our largest event to date was back in March 2019 when 20 players from the Dave Smith managerial era returned on what proved to be a wonderful and emotional day.

 
Fans are always given the opportunity to see former players returning to Roots Hall, with introductions on the pitch and many also being able to meet their former heroes either before or after a match. There have been many wonderful reunions after decades of absence!

A recent campaign was held to raise funds to help improve the garden for former Shrimper Bobby King, and SUEPA also set up a facility where former Shrimpers could contact Southend United fans in care homes.

  

A current project underway is to work with the Professional Footballers Association to see if a national network of former player associations can be set up. We firmly believe that groups like SUEPA are a win-win for all concerned (the club, the players and the fans) and in leading the way to promote wider use of such groups we view that their role and use should grow significantly.
 
 
 
 
 
SUEPA run very active Facebook and Twitter pages on which they publicise what they do including posting up details as and when a new member joins. Both social media outlets have a growing following, have proved invaluable in spreading the SUEPA word, received many plaudits for their content and receive a steady stream of messages for us to respond to.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
All SUEPA members receive a quarterly newsletter, and from September 2020 this will also be distributed to Shrimpers Trust members by email.
 
 
 
 
 
 
SUEPA can be contacted via the Shrimpers Trust or directly by email to: suepassoc@gmail.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

  
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