On the evening of Monday, 15th April, Shrimpers Trust members; Kevin Maher, his staff and first team squad; Danny Heath and the Youth Team squad and Lewis Dodds and the Southend United Ladies teams were welcomed to The Ambleside Social Club – a new venue for the Trust’s End of Season awards night.

The evening was hosted by Paul Yeomanson and Rob Craven from the Shrimpers Trust and began with a heartfelt note written by Trust Board member, Liam Ager directed towards Kevin and the team, which brought a tear to the eye of many of those in attendance.

The first award of the evening was the March Player of the Month award, which was presented to Collin Andeng-Ndi by Junior Blues member, Bailey Search.

This was followed by the awards to the Youth Team Players of the Year, with the presentation of the Tom Grace Memorial Shield. Tom was a junior member of the Trust who passed away aged just 15, in 2007. The Trust decided to re-name the Youth Team Player of the Year award in his honour, and we are always grateful to Tom’s family for coming along to present it.

The 2nd runner up was Ronnie Blake, with Beau MacDonald as 1st runner up. The winner was Mikey Faulkner, and Len Grace presented them with their awards. Danny Heath was invited to say a few words and he began by thanking the Shrimpers Trust for their continued support, particularly in providing the Veo monitoring equipment which has enabled them to produce individual and post match analysis of performances which has been a massive help.

Danny went on to thank Rob Craven for his commitment and support over the season, across the many miles travelled.

The Shrimpers Trust has run coaches to all 25 away fixtures this season, covering a total of 7,372 miles and the Trust were pleased to acknowledge the commitment of six supporters who had travelled with them to all these matches.

The following supporters were all presented with an award by Kevin Maher, which had been signed by Kevin, Darren Currie and Mark Bentley: Stephen Burt; Lesley Hicks; Lesley Lawrence; Judith McMahon; Clare Rankin-Maclean and Ian Wilkins. The top Junior Traveller was Evie-May Oliver, who had travelled 2,958 miles and was also presented with an award by Kevin Maher.

Proceedings moved on to the Southend United Ladies’ Team presentations, with Georgia Wilson being the 2nd runner up, and Stevie Roberts the 1st runner up awards.

Unfortunately, the winner, Chloe Woolaway was not in attendance to receive her winner’s award.

Rob invited Lewis Dodds to comment on the success this season for the ladies’ team, being 2nd in the league and cup quarter finalists and Lewis expressed their gratitude for the Trust’s continued support, with bench jackets being supplied by the Trust this season giving the ladies a much more professional appearance and making them appear much more a part of Southend United Football Club.

The Junior Blues’ Player of the Year award was the next presentation, with one Junior Blues member who had voted having been selected at random, to present the trophy.

Jamie Moss-Terry was the lucky Junior Blues member having been picked recently by Jack Bridge at the Junior Blues golf event, and he presented the award to the winner, Gus Scott-Morriss.

A summary of the season and compilation of contenders for the Martin Cranmer Goal of the Season had been put together by D1versity and can be found here on the Trust’s YouTube channel.

Martin was a lifelong Southend United supporter, a founder member of the Southend United Independent Supporters Club and a life member of the Shrimpers Trust. Martin sadly passed away, aged just 40, at the start of the 2010/11 season, and his wife, Zoe, was invited to make the presentation to the winner, Noor Husin, for his stunning volley against Solihull Moors at Roots Hall.

The Shrimpers Trust made a presentation of engraved decanters, to Kevin Maher, Darren Currie and Mark Bentley to celebrate their inspiring resilience and determination and in gratitude of their perseverance and commitment to Southend United Football Club throughout a difficult season.

The final award of the evening was the Shrimpers Trust Player of the Year award. There were six nominees – Collin Andeng-Ndi, Jack Bridge, Harry Cardwell, Nathan Ralph, Gus Scott-Morriss and Harry Taylor. Kevin Maher was invited to make the presentations:

2nd runner up – Collin Andeng-Ndi
1st runner up – Harry Taylor
Winner – Gus Scott-Morriss

In interview with Rob, Gus said he was “buzzing” to receive the award, and that it had been a long old season. He had been delighted to receive another England C-cap and was glad to represent his country.

Rob asked Kevin if he had ever thought the Club would be contesting a position in the Play Offs considering where we had been earlier on in the season, fighting for our very existence. Most of us would never have thought it possible. Kevin said that he, his team and the players are all grateful to everyone for their support, and that’s testament to the players. Back when supporters were helping to get the ground ready last August, the inspiring messages left by participants are still on the white board in Kevin’s office.

Kevin said that the support throughout the season has been “amazing”, and now we are heading into our final scheduled game on the back of a run of 15 matches unbeaten. Things are out of our hands, but Kevin emphasised the credit that is due to the team for getting us into that position.

In closing, Paul thanked Rob for helping to co-host the evening and gave thanks to the following:

Kevin, Danny, Lewis, other staff and all the players;
Jamie Cameron at SUFC, for supplying the footage and images;
D1versity for his video and Goal of the Season compilation;
Graham Whitby-Boot for his media coverage of the evening;
The Ambleside Social Club for hosting us;
Trust Board members for their help in setting up and everyone else for coming.