This weekend we are looking forward to the visit of Derrick Parker who is back at Roots Hall in his role as co-commentator for BBC Radio Sheffield.
The Southend United Ex-Players Association (SUEPA) have been in touch with Derrick and he will be given brief leave of absence from the commentary box before kick-off to greet the fans, and will also be in the Legends Lounge after the match.
Joining us from Burnley in 1977 (replacing Stuart Parker – no relation – in the number nine shirt), Derrick plundered 51 goals in 149 appearances over three seasons which today still places him in the top 20 all-time list of Southend goal scorers.
He was our leading scorer for three seasons at the club and was a vital member of our 1977/78 promotion winning team when we finished as Division Four runners-up to Watford.
For many Blues fans though it is the goal that ‘got away’ for which he is often remembered as he was thwarted by Ray Clemence in a one-on-one in front of a packed South Bank in our famous 1979 0-0 draw against the then European Champions Liverpool.
In February 1980 Derrick left us for Saturday’s opponents Barnsley where he was also prolific in front of goal, and today still lives in the town which has led him for some time now to work for his local radio station travelling the country commentating on Barnsley matches.
We are sure Derrick will get a warm greeting from all four sides of Roots Hall on Saturday.