For many Blues fans, today’s match is more than just three points. It’s a derby, a chance to extend our unbeaten run to six and of course bragging rights over Orient. It’s a way to sign off a horrible year in style as we look for a better 2021 for all.
As many will know, the Essex Charity Cup has grown since being established in 2016 and this year were due to take things to the next step. With the support of both Southend United and Leyton Orient, fans of both clubs were coming together to remember a football manager with a history of success behind him, but most importantly a husband and a father.
Justin Edinburgh was a passionate, charismatic man who saw the best in everyone. His success as both a player and a manager was doubled by the love he showed his wife Kerrie and children Charlie and Cydnie. Sadly in June 2019, Justin suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away in hospital a few days later. His death left a lasting impact on all those who knew him and led to his son Charlie setting up the Justin Edinburgh Foundation.
A wonderful event was planned to play a match between Southend and Leyton Orient fans with club legends Adam Barrett, Steve Tilson and John White all signed up to be involved. Orient manager Ross Embleton and former Blues players Josh Wright and Matt Harrold, alongside Jobi McAnuff, were coming to Roots Hall to represent the O’s.
Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the match was postponed (hopefully until 2021!) and new ways to fundraise were brought up.
With stay at home challenges, a podcast with exclusive interviews from former Southend players and management, as well as the occasional auction, it has meant the kindness of Southend and Leyton Orient fans has helped raise £2,340 so far for the Justin Edinburgh Foundation and Havens Hospice.
In this season of goodwill, we’re calling for fans of both clubs to share any loose change they have to help two vital charities in the most desperate of times. Keep up to date with latest developments at @EssexCharityCup as more Southend items become auctioned over the next few months.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has shown generosity so far and to both football clubs who have gone above and beyond to help remember the life of Justin Edinburgh. #ForJustin.
If you’d like to donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/essexcharitycup2020