In the biggest event yet organised by the Southend United Ex-Players Association (SUEPA), we are delighted to announce that a host of former Shrimpers who played for the club during the Dave Smith era (May 1976 to August 1983) will be our guests on Saturday...
Among SUEPA’s growing membership (currently standing at 178) there are 30 who were with us during the time that Dave Smith managed the club, and approximately two-thirds of them are due to be back at Roots Hall in what should prove to be a wonderful re-union.
A great team spirit was a vital ingredient for Dave’s teams. In each of Dave’s seven seasons at the club there was never more than 23 players used, with the championship winning squad of 1980/81 only seeing 17 players take to the field (and eight of the squad that season played in at least 42 of the 46 league games!).
It is the bond created by that team spirit that is bringing back so many of the players to Roots Hall. Eleven of the 1980/81 squad are due to be coming along – Mervyn Cawston, Dave Cusack, Phil Dudley, Tony Hadley, Jeff Hull, Keith Mercer, Alan Moody, Garry Nelson, Glenn Pennyfather, Ronnie Pountney and John Walker.
Others due are Peter Abbott, Frankie Banks, Paul Clark, Neil Freeman, Danny Greaves, Adrian Owers, Peter Silvester, Neil Townsend and Dave Young.
Between them they have amassed an incredible 3,451 appearances in a Shrimpers shirt, with of course Alan Moody leading the way with 506 (a club record). Five of them appear in our all-time top 50 goal scorers list (we will leave you to debate who they might be!) and, if we consider overall career appearances, together they almost reach the 6,000 mark (Garry Nelson leading that list with 662).
SUEPA’s core aim is to re-unite ex-players/coaching staff with each other, the club and the fans. Whilst sadly Dave Smith himself is unable to join them, for so many of his former players to meet up once more will be great to see. They will be introduced to the fans on the pitch shortly before kick-off, and after the match at 5.15 pm a Question & Answer session (free entry) will be held with them in the Shrimpers Bar (under the East Stand).