We were delighted to see that the Southend United Ex-Players Association (SUEPA) has now reached the landmark 300 members mark, making them one of the largest (if not the largest) former player groups in the country – what an achievement!
SUEPA, formed by the Shrimpers Trust in January 2018, looks to re-connect former players with each other, the club and the fans.
It does this via its own SUEPA Facebook and Twitter pages, by issuing quarterly newsletters to all SUEPA and Shrimpers Trust members, and with the club, holding match day reunion events. The last re-union at Roots Hall was held back in March 2020 when we played Bristol Rovers, our final game prior to lockdown commencing.
SUEPA’s first member was club record appearances holder Alan Moody, the 300th was our former striker Marc-Antoine Fortune who joined on 19 February. SUEPA also invites former coaching staff members to be part of the group – Phil Brown recently joined to sit alongside the likes of Dave Smith, Barry Fry and Paul Sturrock in the former managers list.
SUEPA have also, in their short history to date, helped many former players re-unite (always a lovely experience to see at their match day events), raised money to renovate a garden for Bobby King who played for the club in the 1960’s, raised money for charitable causes and, quite simply, brought a lot of joy to former players and fans alike. Following them on social media really is a must for any Shrimpers fan.
A key initiative SUEPA are currently looking to move forward is, in conjunction with the Blackpool Former Players Association, to see if the Professional Footballers Association will set up a national network of former player groups. Early signs are encouraging, we will keep you posted on that.
There are a small band of ‘SUEPA Agents’ who look to track down former Shrimpers to invite them to join SUEPA. If you have any leads that you think might be of interest please get in touch with SUEPA at email@example.com
We look forward to the days when we can work with SUEPA to resume those match day events. In the meantime, we look forward to charting their progress in getting to 400 members!