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'Roots Review' speaks to Blues legend Billy Best

20 February 2017

Former striker Billy Best was our guest legend on Saturday

Saturday's matchday programme included an interview with one of Southend's greats - Billy Best.

Best was presented to the crowd pre-match, alongside Neil Townsend, and before the day he spoke to us about his five-year stint at the club. 

Remember to purchase your copy of the programme from sellers around the ground to read interviews like this first!


A true Southend United legend returned to Blues on Saturday.

Fittingly, our guest in the Blues Legends Lounge against Northampton Town is fondly remembered not only at Roots Hall, but also at the Cobblers.

Billy Best is widely regarded by those fortunate enough to watch him as one of Blues’ finest-ever players. 

His time in Essex comprised of a goalscoring record of almost one in two. More simply, 123 goals in 246 starts.

Roots Review caught up with the Glasgow-born goal machine, who reminisced on a special time at Southend. 

“I have some very fond memories,” Best said.


“It was good fun and we had a good set of lads. We had some success and some failures as well which is normal in Third and Fourth Division football.

“I scored some goals so that made it much better for me. It’s one of the reasons I’ve still got friends down there.

“I still keep in contact with a couple of people and they say when are you coming back.”

Ernie Shepherd brought Best Roots Hall in 1968 from the Cobblers, where he then returned in 1973.

In his five years at Blues, where he scooped Player of the Season three times, Best almost toppled Roy Hollis as our record goalscorer, ending up 12 short.
 
Best wasn’t one bit concerned with records though.

“It wasn’t a factor,” he added.

“Records never came into it at all, it was just about scoring goals. It didn’t enter into my mindset, I was just happy to play and score.

“Everybody I played with had a part to play because my teammates were the ones setting me up so they have to take a share of the credit.”

Speaking on his time at Northampton, Best said: “When I left Southend and went back to Northampton for another five years, they were better days for me from a playing side, although in my first stint we played in the First Division.

“I still enjoyed the second spell better because I was playing more often.”


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