In an event arranged by the Southend United Ex Players Association (SUEPA), this Saturday when we play Oxford we welcome back to Roots Hall four top keepers who between them have clocked up nearly 500 appearances as our Number One.
First up is Peter Goy, now aged 80 and possibly our oldest living goalkeeper. He started out as a junior at Arsenal in 1954 before moving to Southend in 1960. Peter to this day remains great friends with some of his old Southend team mates, one of whom is striker Ken Jones. And, as a special bonus, we are also expecting Ken, whose time as a Shrimper mirrored that of Peter’s, to be at Roots Hall on Saturday.
Our second keeper guest will be Derek Bellotti, who was our top shot-stopper from 1971 to 1974 playing 77 times. Now living in Devon, Saturday will be the first time Derek has been back to Roots Hall since he left us over 44 years ago.
Our third keeper guest will be Neil Freeman. If you rated all of our past keepers on goals conceded, looking at those who represented us at least 30 times, Neil, with us from 1976 to 1978, comes out as our best shot-stopper ever with a goals-conceded ratio of just 0.81% in 69 games!
Our final guest keeper will be Mervyn Cawston, number one in our record breaking 1980/81 Division Four championship winning team. All in all Mervyn notched up over 200 appearances as a Shrimper, taking part in some great evenings at Roots Hall, including that never-to-be forgotten 1979 match v Liverpool when he kept out Kenny and co in front of 31,000.
Peter, Ken, Derek, Neil and Mervyn will be introduced to the crowd shortly before kick-off – make sure you get to your seat early and give them all a great Roots Hall welcome!