Sunday, 20 November 2016
History of Southend United F.C.
Southend United F.C. was formed in 1906 and played in the Southern League until 1920, when they co-founded the Football League's new Third Division; they finished 17th in their first ever season. In 1921, the Third Division was regionalised with Southend United joining the southern section and here they remained until league re-structure in 1958. Southend came close to promotion twice when they finished 3rd in 1932 and 1950, the club's highest league positions until 1991.
Southend United joined the new national Third Division in 1958, where they remained until 1966 when they suffered their first ever relegation, into the Fourth Division. The club had to wait six seasons until 1972 to experience the club's first ever promotion as runners-up behind Grimsby Town. In 1976 Southend suffered relegation again before taking another runners-up spot behind Watford in 1978. Another relegation in 1980 was directly followed by one of the most successful seasons in the club's history as they won the Fourth Division Championship in 1981, breaking a series of club records in the process. Despite success on the pitch and low admission prices, the club's gates were low and condemned as "a bad reflection on the town".(p72)
Many of Southend United's most gifted players were sold due to a financial strain.(p74) In June 1983 Anton Johnson, a local butcher who was also chairman of Rotherham United,(p74) bought 44.9% of the club from the Rubin brothers. The club was already £250,000 in debt.(p147) By August 1983 Dave Smith had been replaced as manager byPeter Morris who lasted until February 1984. On his arrival, Morris discovered that he had a squad of only ten players.(p121) Bobby Moore was installed as chief executive with Andrew MacHutcheon as chairman. The club were relegated into the Fourth Division in 1984 with Bobby Moore as manager. One of the club's darkest hours saw a season read more
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