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Posted on: Sun 03 Jun 2007

Bob Jack

Born in Alloa, Bob Jack's playing career started with Alloa Athletic before moving to Bolton Wanderers in 1895. He would subsequently play for Preston North End and Plymouth Argyle before accepting the post of player/secretary/manager at the new Southend United club in July 1906. He guided the club to two successive Southern League Division Two titles, before returning to Plymouth in July 1910. He was manager at Home Park until his retirement in 1938, after which he returned to Southend United as chief scout under his son David. He died in Southend in 1943 and his ashes were scattered on the pitch at Home Park.

George Molyneux

Southend's first captain and as a former England international a widely respected figure in the game. He had vast experience as a player with Southampton and Portsmouth prior to his five seasons as a player with Southend. After Bob Jack had returned to Plymouth, his appointment as manager of the side was an obvious one although sadly constant interference from the board and some poor results saw the side slide back to the Southern League Second Division in his only season in charge. George finished his career as a player for Colchester Town. He died of cancer in 1942.


Joe Bradshaw

An amiable man Joe's playing career saw spells at Woolwich Polytechnic, West Norwood, Southampton, Woolwich Arsenal, Fulham (under the management of his father Harry), Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers. He joined Southend as player/manager in February 1911 and during his playing days he would play in every position in the team including goalkeeper. In his first full season, 1912/13, Joe successfully guided the club back to the First Division of the Southern League as runners-up to Cardiff City. He then fought for his country for four years in some of the grimmest battles of World War I and pledged his assistance to the club upon his demobilisation although surprisingly the club opted to appoint a new man to guide the revived club. Bradshaw then managed Swansea Town with whom he gained promotion to Division Two in 1924/25. He then had reasonably lengthy spells in charge of Fulham and Bristol City.

Ned Liddell

A nomadic player who played for five clubs before making 200 appearances for Clapton Orient. He then joined Southend as a player in October 1913 but after less than a year joined Arsenal. After the war he was appointed Southend manager in preference to re-engaging Joe Bradshaw, Liddell's tenure as manager lasted barely a year although he oversaw the club's elevation to the Football League. He then decamped to Queens Park Rangers and spent four seasons as their manager before returning to Southend as assistant manager to Ted Birnie. He then scouted for Fulham before becoming their manager in 1929, incredibly replacing Joe Bradshaw once again. He then scouted for West Ham before guiding Luton Town to promotion to Division Two in 1936/37. He subsequently scouted for a number of clubs during a lifetime in professional football. Ned Liddell died in November 1969.

Tom Mather

Tom Mather was never a player but had come to fore with administrative roles at Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers. It was therefore something of a surprise that he beat of stiff competition to get the Southend managerial job in May 1920. He spent less than two seasons in charge, during which the club languished at the foot of the Third Division (South) table. He was the first Southend manager to be relieved of his duties in February 1922. Mather then had a lengthy spell in charge of Stoke City, gaining much acclaim for signing a young Stanley Matthews. His managerial career ended with unsuccessful stints at Newcastle United and Kilmarnock.

Ted Birnie

A genial man who guided the club from the depths of having to reapply for League membership at the end of the dismal 1921/22 season to several seasons where promotion to Division Two often became a real possibility only to falter at critical stages. As a player he had been a commanding centre half with Sunderland Seaburn, Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. However, his first coaching post was a strange one, with German club Mulheim. He then had spells as trainer at Sunderland and Rochdale before getting the Southend manager's job. He spent twelve seasons in charge at The Kursaal becoming the only man to preside over a Southend team for more than 500 matches. He retired in May 1934 aged 55 but would be beset be ill health and died in December 1935.

David Jack

An extremely famous player with Bolton Wanderers, Arsenal and England. David Jack would be the first player to command a five figure transfer fee when he joined the Highbury club for an unprecedented £10,890 in October 1928. During his spell under Herbert Chapman at Arsenal he was widely regarded as the country's finest player, scoring over 300 career goals, and would captain his county. He had, of course, grown up in Southend where his father had been the club's first manager, so it was no little surprise when he accepted the Southend job as his first venture into management. His immense salary of £750 meant he would not be allowed to play for the club as it would break the maximum payment rules. His five seasons in charge were, however, distinctly average, and after World War II Jack opted to join Middlesbrough as manager. He died in London in September 1958.

Harry Warren

A huge man, Harry Warren saw the club restored to full time football after disbanding during World War II. He had been manager of Chelmsford City during the war and therefore de facto manager of Southend after David Jack had been engaged by Barclays Bank to aid the war effort. He accepted the job full time for the 1945/46 wartime season as stayed at the club until June 1956 when unexpectedly opted to join Coventry City as manager, despite being guaranteed a job for life at Roots Hall. He was dismissed at Highfield Road just over a year later and returned to Southend working in a solicitor's. He would watch matches at Roots Hall until his death in April 1968.

Eddie Perry

Eddie Perry played for a number of clubs with a relative lack of success until joining Doncaster Rovers in November 1936. Belatedly in his playing career he would be capped three times by Wales. During and after the war he served Fulham in several capacities and as scout discovered the legendary Johnny Haynes as a youngster. He joined Southend as manager in July 1956 tasked with filling the not insubstantial shoes of the departed Harry Warren. Although not entirely unsuccessful in his three seasons at the club, Perry was soon at loggerheads with the board as he would often miss first team matches, leaving his assistant in charge, in favour of scouting missions. He made a lasting impact on the club by the creation in 1957 of the club's first ever youth team. However, after a poor start to the 1959/60 season he tenured his resignation. He then returned to Fulham as scout. Eddie Perry passed away aged 89 in November 1998.

Frank Broome

A useful player primarily with Aston Villa, Frank Broome gained seven England caps including the notorious Berlin match in 1938 against Germany where the Football Association insisted the players Nazi salute the watching Adolf Hitler. His post-War playing career took in stints at Derby County, Notts County, Brentford, Crewe and Shelbourne. He managed Notts County and Exeter City before joining Southend in May 1960. After only forty games in charge though and despite a decent transfer kitty the side were struggling and Broome was shown the door. He subsequently had very successful spells in Australia coaching Bankstown and Corinthians before returning to manage Exeter once again. He spent much of the 1970's coaching in the Middle East. Frank Broome died in 1994.

Ted Fenton

A much respected player with West Ham United, Ted enjoyed a successful spell as manager of Southern League Colchester United before returning to Upton Park as assistant to Charlie Paynter, whom he succeeded in 1950. He guided the Hammers to the Division Two championship in 1958, returning the club to the top flight for the first time in 26 years. He left the club unexpectedly in March 1961 with neither Fenton or the club offering an explanation. He immediately joined Southend as manager and successfully steered the club away from the threat if relegation. His four full seasons at the club were undistinguished but his dismissal in May 1965 was still a shock as his hands had been shackled by budgetary constraints. His work in developing youth products was widely respected although after his sacking he never returned to the game. He was killed in a car crash in 1992.

Alvan Williams

A huge man in stature and a renowned disciplinarian, being the son of a vicar. He served several clubs most notably Bradford Park Avenue before injury prematurely ended his career at the age of 28. He was certainly unconventional, opting to live in a caravan for much of his playing career, Williams enjoyed no little success in his first coaching role as assistant manager of Bangor City. He had a spell as manager of Hartlepool United before joining Southend in June 1965. He was renowned for his explosive temper and foul mouth and this did not lead to success on the field for The Shrimpers. He presided over the club's first ever relegation, to Division Four, in the 1965/66 campaign. Despite the team starting the new campaign brightly rumours of an imminent dismissal for a drink problem saw Williams quit for the manager's job at Wrexham. Within in a year he was forced to resign at the Racecourse Ground following a conviction for drunk driving. Controversy seemed to follow him around, when later a publican in North London he was charged with murder, although subsequently acquitted, when a student died after an altercation. He did however receive a custodial sentence for affray. Shortly before his death in 2003, Alvan Williams was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the North Wales FA, for his contribution to local football.

Ernie Shepherd

A much loved Southend manager, Ernie did not turn professional as a player until the age of 25. Remarkably during the 1948/49 campaign he served Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Hull City all of whom would gain promotion by the season's end. His coaching career started in Iceland, then with Hastings United and Bradford Park Avenue. He arrived at Roots Hall in 1959 as trainer under Eddie Perry. Under Alvan Williams he would become assistant manager and would succeed the Welshman in April 1967. He gained a reputation for expertise in the transfer market, signing Blues legends such as Billy Best, Bill Garner and Peter Taylor, however his quest for promotion to the Third Division eluded him and left him on the verge of a breakdown. He resigned in October 1969 but stayed on as General Manager overseeing the tenure of Geoff Hudson. He would run the side again briefly at the end of the 1969/70 campaign after Hudson's departure. He subsequently had an interesting coaching career, at Orient where he discovered a crop of talented youngsters, and he was also England Youth coach under Don Revie before spending ten years at Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates. He died at his home in Eastwood in 2001.

Geoff Hudson

Hudson played professionally for eight clubs and was already a highly qualified coach before a stint at then Southern League club Cambridge United. He joined Southend as manager in October 1969 promising promotion to Division Three by 1971 or he would resign. After three months and 15 matches in charge the Blues were in the re-election zone of Division Four and Hudson was relieved of his duties.

Arthur Rowley

Arthur Rowley holds the record as the most prolific goalscorer in the English game, scoring 434 goals in just 619 games for West Bromwich, Fulham, Leicester City and Shrewsbury Town with whom he gained his first managerial experience. He took them to promotion in his first season and third place in the Third Division the following campaign. He then had an unsuccessful spell in charge at Sheffield United where he resigned after board interference became overpowering. He joined Southend in March 1970 and guided the club to the much longed for promotion in the 1971/72 season. After three modest Third Division seasons Rowley was dismissed by the board following relegation in the 1975/76 season. He had coaching spells with Telford United and Oswestry Town before pursuing his interests in horse racing. He died in Shrewsbury in December 2002.

Dave Smith

After a modest playing career punctuated by severe injury problems, Dave Smith became a much loved figure at Roots Hall with a succession of exciting teams. He was manager of Mansfield Town when he accepted the position at Roots Hall in May 1976. He guided the club to two promotions during his seven year tenure, which ended with his shock dismissal in June 1983. Subsequently enjoyed successful spells in charge of Plymouth Argyle, Dundee and Torquay United.

Peter Morris

Appointed late in the close season of 1983, Morris had little time to build a squad fit for retaining a place in the Third Division. The club struggled all season and Morris was dismissed in February 1984 before relegation was confirmed. A well known player with Mansfield Town, Ipswich Town and Norwich City, Morris subsequently enjoyed successful spells as a non-league manager with the likes of Kettering Town, Boston United and Kings Lynn.

Bobby Moore

As a player and World Cup winning captain, Bobby Moore needs little introduction. His managerial career however started with a spell in Hong Kong in charge of Eastern Athletic. He joined Southend United as chief executive August 1983 but was thrust into management in a caretaker role following the dismissal of Peter Morris. Moore presided over the team's darkest days at the foot of Division Four and playing in front of the lowest crowds in the club's history. He resigned from the post in April 1986 although he remained on the board of directors until 1992. He worked in TV and media until his tragic death from bowel cancer in February 1993.

David Webb
1986-1987, 1988-1992, 2000-2001, 2003-2003

Arguably the most popular manager in the club's history with four separate spells in charge of the club between 1986 and 2003. His first spell ended when he resigned after an argument with the chairman Vic Jobson, although his side would gain promotion under Paul Clark. He returned in December 1988 as general manager and guided the Blues to back-to-back promotion taking the club into previously uncharted territory of Division Two. He returned once again in October 2000 following the departure of Alan Little and then again in a caretaker role between the tenures of Steve Wignall and the appointment of current manager Steve Tilson.

Paul Clark
1987-1987, 1987-1988

A powerful and much respected player with the Blues who enjoyed two spells at Roots Hall in between a stint at Brighton and Hove Albion. Took over from the departed Dave Webb in March 1987 and managed to continue Webb's work in guiding the club to promotion. He was not offered the job on a full time basis as Dick Bate was installed for the 1987/88 campaign. However, he was called on again after Bate's disastrous tenure was halted after only ten games. He stayed in charge of team affairs for some time until Dave Webb returned in a general manager capacity. He later played for Chelmsford City before becoming assistant manager to Tommy Taylor at both Cambridge United and Leyton Orient. Has since covered the game by working in local media.

Dick Bate

An average player, primarily with Boston United, Dick Bate was a highly qualified coach employed by Notts County when Vic Jobson, without consultation with fellow board members, appointed him as Southend manager in June 1987. His ten game spell in charge saw only one win in the League Cup and some heavy defeats in the League saw him dismissed with the worst record of any Southend manager in history. Has subsequently been coach of Hereford United, Lincoln City, the national teams of Malaysia and Burkina Faso, youth coach at Leeds United and the England under 19 manager.

Colin Murphy

Colin Murphy's playing career ended prematurely with injury and he had substantial coaching and managerial experience with the likes of Charlton, Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Lincoln City prior to joining Southend United in June 1992. However, he suffered a dismal run in charge of the Shrimpers, the only highlight being the signing of Stan Collymore in November 1992. After a concerted spell of fan pressure Murphy was dismissed in April 1993. He has subsequently held managerial and coaching posts at Shelbourne, Notts County, Burma, Cork City and Stockport County. He was also assistant to Peter Taylor at Hull City.

Barry Fry

A larger than life figure, Fry's career started at Manchester United but amounted to little more than average at best. He managed non-league clubs Dunstable Town, Bedford Town and Barnet where he had a stormy relationship with chairman Stan Flashman. Fry moved to Southend in April 1993 and guided the club away from the relegation zone. The new season started well but after promising fans he was not interested in the vacant job at Birmingham City he left for St.Andrews just 24 hours later taking his coaching staff and subsequently four players with him. His lack of loyalty rankled with Southend supporters for many years and their feelings were made vocally clear on several subsequent returns to Roots Hall. After being sacked by Birmingham, Fry has spent many years in various capacities at Peterborough United.

Peter Taylor

A hugely popular figure as a player at Roots Hall, Peter Taylor was manager of Southern Leaguers Dartford when he was installed as Southend manager in rapid succession to the departed Barry Fry. His 66 game spell in charge was disastrous however and sadly the supporters turned against him. He resigned in February 1995 and returned to non-league management with Dover Athletic. He was then surprisingly selected to run the England Under 21 side and was a resounding success. He has subsequently managed Gillingham, Leicester City, Brighton, Hull City and most recently Crystal Palace another club he had served as a player.

Steve Thompson

Took over from Peter Taylor as a caretaker manager and had a dramatic impact on a relegation threatened side. The team won eight of their final 14 matches of the campaign to clamber to safety. He declined the offer of a full time job in favour of the vacant manager's job at Notts County. He was then coach and manager at Sheffield United. More recently he was reappointed manager of Notts County in June 2006.

Ronnie Whelan

A legendary figure with Liverpool and the Republic of Ireland, Ronnie Whelan was one of the most decorated players of the modern era. He joined Southend as a player in September 1994 and was Player of The Year in his first season. However, now player/manager, in the first game of the following season he sustained a career ending knee injury. After a reasonably successful first season in charge the second campaign was an unmitigated disaster as Southend lost their First Division place finishing in last place. Whelan subsequently coached in Greece and Cyprus before forging a career in media punditry.

Alvin Martin

A former England international with a fine career with West Ham United behind him, Southend offered Martin his first managerial role in June 1997, however as many before had found the conversion to a lower league manager was a difficult one and under his stewardship Southend suffered a second straight relegation to the basement division. The following season the side faired little better and a beleaguered Martin offered his resignation in March 1999. He has subsequently worked in radio punditry.

Alan Little

Another former Southend player who returned to the club as a manager having enjoyed a decent spell in charge of York City. As a player he had served Aston Villa before joining Southend in December 1974. He later played for Barnsley, Doncaster, Halifax, Torquay and Hartlepool in an extensive career. He joined Southend as manager in March 1999 and at first had a reasonable impact on a poorly performing side. However, after a poor start to the 2000/01 season he was relieved of his duties in September 2000.

Rob Newman

A hugely experienced campaigner with over 700 appearances for Bristol City and Norwich City prior to joining Southend as a player in July 1998. He became very popular with supporters for his dogged play and crunching tackles and was soon appointed reserve team manager. After Dave Webb's dramatic resignation on health grounds in October 2001, Rob Newman took over first team duties initially in a caretaker capacity. A passionately animated manager from the sidelines sadly his efforts failed to motivate a poor bunch of players Newman was dismissed from his post in March 2003. He has subsequently scouted for West Ham United and had a brief but unsuccessful stint as manager of Conference outfit Cambridge United.

Steve Wignall

Steve Wignall enjoyed a lengthy playing career with Doncaster, Colchester, Brentford and Aldershot before cutting his teeth in management with Aldershot Town, a club formed from the ashes of the collapsed Football League club. He then managed Colchester United, Stevenage Borough and Doncaster Rovers before he was dismissed from Belle Vue in March 2002. He then spent a year out of the game before surprisingly beating off numerous applicants for the vacant Southend job in April 2003. However, his 23 games in charge produced only six victories and it came as no surprise when he was shown the door in November 2003.

Steve Tilson
2003 - present

A much loved player at Southend United, Steve Tilson spent nine seasons at the club before winding down his playing career with a hugely successful spell at Canvey Island. He was appointed Southend manager, initially in a caretaker role, in November 2003 after running the club's youth academy. Since then, despite relegation this season from the Championship, two promotions and two LDV Final appearances has seen Tilson become the most successful manager in the club's one hundred year history.

Barry Fry
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