WE ARE STAYING UP! | TBV Bulletin 09

posted 10 May 2019, 10:56 by Dan McEvoy   [ updated 10 May 2019, 11:21 ]

From now until the end of the season, each week a member of TBV will be posting their thoughts and comments from the games in the previous weeks, and previewing the week's games ahead for our team. This week's bulletin is the final one of the 2018/19 season, and as well as inevitably talking about our great escape, we will be talking about some important events happening in the close season, and our plans going forwards into the 2019/20 season. As always, please remember that all of the views and opinions included in this bulletin are the opinions of individuals involved with TBV, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the club. 

The Greatest Escape?!

Last week, I didn't even know what to post in this bulletin... this week, I don't even know where to begin with writing this post. If it was up to me, I'd of repeated "we are staying up" over and over again until the page was filled up, but as that wouldn't be as entertaining to read, I thought I'd talk about our emotions leading up to, during, and after the match. 

I will be the very first to admit that after Rochdale away, I think I was 90% sure that we had screwed up our chance of survival; heck, even at Walsall away when we conceded a last minute penalty I thought we were all but down, but there was this little part of me inside that said "we've still got a chance", and as long as we kept supporting the lads in the stands, we still stand a chance of survival. The week leading up to Sunderland, we were nervous, and for some, the nerves didn't even hit home until we stepped out the door on Saturday afternoon, and started to head down to Roots Hall. I think that was the most nervous I've ever felt in the build up to a game in my life. TBV worked incredibly hard in the lead up, alongside the club who we have to thank for their incredible support over this time, and this meant that on Saturday, TBV walked into the ground with roughly 160 streamers, 2000 balloons, 5 massive blue and white flags, a drum and one very important mission; to get behind the team from the first minute until the end of the game. What followed, is possibly the best and most emotional 90 minutes of football I think I'll ever witness at Roots Hall, and one of the best atmospheres in my time of supporting this club. 

The Sunderland fans were unsurprisingly out in numbers, filling pretty much the entirety of the North Bank of Roots Hall... but that did not intimidate the Southend fans, as we kept singing until the final whistle went at the end. With news filtering in elsewhere of results, it was clear to everyone what we needed to do.... and up stepped John White, who in our biggest game of the season, attempted a bicycle kick, connected with it, and scored a vital, vital goal. Cue mass celebration in the home ends, just before half time. People started to believe, and the noise levels were amplified even more, and even conceding a soft penalty for the equaliser didn't seem to quieten the crowd down, in fact it made them even louder. The noise amplified, and kept growing and growing, until up steps Humphrys complete with his batman-esque mask, to slot the ball into the back of the net and send the Roots Hall crowd wild once again. Whilst Humphrys scored the winning goal and is undoubtedly hero of the season, it should also be noted that John White played the final 10 minutes of the game with a broken wrist - with no subs left to make, instead of walking off and leaving us with just 10 men, he got bandaged up by our physio, and played on. That level of commitment really epitomises Southend's "never give up" attitude, and I have to applaud John for playing on in this circumstance - how he managed it, I will never know! 

There was one moment on Saturday that I don't think I'll ever forget, and that was when the West stand sang "stand up if you love Southend", and the entirety of the home ends, East, West, and South, all stood up in unison, and belted out the song. I'm not ashamed to admit that it brought a tear to my eye - TBV's aims from the day that they were founded was to bring back the Roots Hall Roar, and on Saturday I think we not only did that, but we set the bar even higher than it ever was before. The celebrations for both goals will forever be remembered by Southend fans, and the release of emotion as the full time whistle went was, quite honestly, a moment I will never forget. We are staying up, and I'm proud of not only the players and the team for their endurance, but also to the fans who kept singing and believing in the team from the first minute, until the last. This one was for you guys.

A small note of commiserations to those who were relegated at our expense; Plymouth, Scunthorpe and Walsall - we do hope you bounce back as soon as possible, and the same goes to Bradford too, who's fate was unfortunately sealed well in advance of Saturday's game. It's never nice to see a team relegated, but unfortunately that's how football goes sometimes. Even with 6-8 games left to go, there were 12 teams in a relegation scrap... that's how close it was down the bottom. We all talk about how Barnsley moved from rock bottom at Christmas to top 6 with a run of good form, but on the flip side, a poor run of form like Southend's can easily see you being dragged unwillingly into a deep, deep relegation battle. With a 5-6 games to go before the end of the season, I wouldn't of considered Plymouth to be the most likely to be relegated, but with a poor run of form, they sadly found themselves down there with us. 

As someone who has been in attendance at all 46 league games this season (plus cup games too), this season has been the longest, and hardest season I can remember as a Southend fan, but the sheer release of emotion on Saturday made it all worthwhile. Would I want to have another season fighting against relegation like this again next year? Absolutely not, please don't put our hearts through that again Southend, I don't think I could take another season's worth of that!!!

Flags, Balloons, and Streamers

As mentioned earlier, on Saturday we brought with us 2000 balloons, in excess of 160 streamers, and 5 flags. Now, all of these items do come at a cost to TBV and the fans who are heavily involved with it themselves, so do understand why we cannot do this every single week. However, for both the Wycombe game and the Sunderland game, we were very kindly backed by the club for this, and we would like to place on record just how incredibly grateful we are to the club for everything they do for us as fans. However, as we reach the close season, we reach the stage where we start to look into where the funds will come from next season for more displays like this. Everything we do comes at a cost to us as fans, and this is the part of the year where we begin to look into fundraising ideas for next season. TBV will be at MTBD again this year, and we will be doing yet another bus stop bingo, where you can contribute to get your hands on some signed goodies, whilst also supporting TBV at the same time. Over the close season, you will likely see some changes to the TBV website, and we would really like to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see. So if you have any ideas on what you want on the website, please let us know and we will take everything into consideration. 

And finally, a small side note, and a little moan from myself and the rest of the TBV lads is that we brought 5 large flags into the ground on Saturday, and only 1 of them was returned to us at the end of the game. We will be speaking with the club next week to see if they have been handed in at all, but if you do, by chance, have one of the flags at home... please message us asap as we will need them back as soon as possible - our plans in the off season were to look into getting these personalised for TBV, so we do need these back as soon as possible. If we are unable to locate them, then we may have to purchase more flags, which obviously comes at a cost to us, as supporters. We obviously don't want that to be the solution, so we do kindly ask that if you know any information with regards to the flags, please can you get in touch with us either via Twitter or Facebook. 

Season's Over... Now What?!

So, now the dust is finally beginning to settle, and the season is now over, what's next for TBV? Well, whilst our heart rates return to normal after the drama of the final game of the season, and our drummer's hand's heal from all the hundred's of blisters he's had to deal with over the past season, we turn our focus to the close season and begin to turn our attention and thinking to how we can build on what was a very strong atmosphere in our final 2 home games. But, before we do that, there are 2 more matches left at Roots Hall to play in May, each match raising money for different charities.

Firstly, on the 17th May 2019, the Essex Charity Cup returns to Roots Hall for its 4th instalment, and this year the event is even bigger than ever before. Featuring some of the lads involved with TBV and with special guests from the squad likely to be in attendance, Rydog FC take on United FC as they raise money for 2 very worthy charities in MIND and Samaritans. The game kicks off at 6:20pm, and tickets are only £5 for adults, £3 for under 16's, and £2 for 11's and under. As well as the match itself, there will be a raffle and an auction in the lead up to the event and on the night too, including match worn shirts from various players including Sam Hart, and SUFC's newest hero, Stephen Humphrys. To get involved with the auction, please contact Rylee on either Facebook or Twitter (@rylee_doe). A big thank you goes to Rylee for organising this, we cannot wait to be there, and we urge as many fans to come down and support the lads as they raise money for charity.

And finally, we couldn't possibly talk about charity matches at Roots Hall without talking about one of the most highly anticipated charity matches of 2019, in the newly founded Sid Broomfield Trophy. Southend United legend Adam Barrett has teamed up with Southend United's leading news reporter, Chris Phillips, as they reignite the Essex Derby once again, as both Southend and Colchester's 2006 League One Promotion Winning Squads reunite at Roots Hall to battle it out for the chance to win the "Sid Broomfield Trophy". All proceeds go to Havens Hospice, and on top of that, some huge Roots Hall legends will be returning once more for one more match on the hallowed turf of Roots Hall. The match takes place on Monday 20th May, and kicks off at 7:30pm, with tickets available for £5 for adults, and £1 for concessions.

Tickets for both charity matches are now available, with the Sid Broomfield tickets available in advance. Both matches will have tickets available on the day, and it would be fantastic if we could get as many Shrimpers down to Roots Hall to watch and support these events. Some of those involved with TBV will be there (although we'll be enjoying the close season and a break from singing and dancing!), and we would urge all Shrimpers to show their support for two fantastic events too.

Special Thanks...

With this being our final bulletin of the 2018/19 season, we couldn't let this moment go without providing a few messages of thanks to certain groups and individuals who have helped not only us, but all Southend supporters over the past few months. A special thanks goes to the club, who continue to back and all its supporter groups, who continue to back TBV over the years, even when we were on a poor run of form. A thank you to SUFC's Police Liaison Officer, Keith, who has worked tirelessly this season to engage with the fans, and ensure our safety at all times. Similarly, a huge thank you not only for this season, but for the () years that he's been at Roots Hall goes to Dave Jobson, who retired from his role as Head of Security this season after the Sunderland game - your support of TBV over the years has been superb, and we would like to thank you for everything you've done. And finally, a huge thank you to both ZoneTravel and Shrimpers Trust for providing coach travel this season for the fans - we've certainly enjoyed our time on the ZoneTravel coaches this season, despite the results! If you're looking at travelling to a few away games next season, check out both ZoneTravel and the Shrimpers Trust for more information on coach travel... we highly recommend their travel services!

Final Thoughts from TBV

When we decided to create this bulletin about 2 1/2 months ago, we created it with two goals in mind; to provide insight from TBV with regards to what goes into making an atmosphere on a match day, and to hopefully provide the supporters with a bit of belief and positivity in the midst of some very poor results and performances. We feel like we've accomplished both of these goals, and we we've loved every second of writing these bulletins. We are planning to bring them back next season on a less frequent basis (once every 2 weeks or so), so we pose the question to you guys; If we were to continue doing these into next season, what would you like to see more of in the bulletins? Let us know on Social Media, and we will look into it for next season!

Whilst this is the final bulletin of the season, we will be posting a charity match special next week on Wednesday, so keep your eyes peeled for that! But for the final time this season, from everyone involved with TBV, thanks for sticking with the team and helping us to create memorable atmospheres in the final few games of the season, thanks for supporting TBV this season, and enjoy the close season, knowing that next season, we'll be in League One once again...

We are Southend United... the club that does not know, when it is beaten. 


The Blue Voice