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Re-posting an article written by Dave Bishop in Southend United’s Roots programme for the recent home game against Aldershot, which is all about Kay Fogg. 
Kay is the Administrator at our Benfleet office and has worked at Williams & Donovan since the Benfleet office opened in 2014.  She is the volunteer Coordinator for Southend United’s Junior Blues.

"It was my great pleasure to catch up with Kay Fogg recently and chat to her about her time as a Shrimper and indeed, all things Southend United.

Kay from Benfleet, this season celebrated her 50th year following the club and is a very well-known figure to many at Roots Hall for her work with both the Junior Blues and Shrimpers Trust.

“I have to say that I don’t remember who my first ever game was against, but it was the era of Billy Best, Bill Garner and Peter Taylor and I came with my dad.  Our support now spans three generations of the family.  I started off in the old East Blues, then the Paddock and now my husband Kev and myself have our season tickets on the halfway line in the West Stand, in fact, Kev and I had our first-ever dates together at Southend games – away at Millwall and Colchester in 2010” she remembered with a smile.

“My best memories of games watching Southend?  I loved the Dave Smith years, which were such exciting times.  I can remember going up on the coach to the old Baseball Ground to watch us play Derby County in the 5th Round of the FA Cup in 1976 in front of 30,000+ fans.  Derby were a top side back then, with the likes of Archie Gemmill, Roy McFarland, Colin Todd, Charlie George and Bruce Rioch playing for them.  We lost 1-0 but we played really well and it was a great day.  The last game of the season in the Championship at Southampton was fantastic too.  Despite relegation and us losing 4-1, it was just a big party with Southend fans out in numbers, singing throughout and doing the conga around the stand - a wonderful atmosphere all round.  The Southampton fans clapping our coaches as we left St Mary’s after the game is something I’ll never forget either.  Of course, Wembley 2015 was just the best.  The game had everything didn’t it?”

“Biggest disappointments?  The relegations under Tilly and the League 1 Covid shortened relegation season of 2019/20, which I still feel was unjust as after everything that happened, I think the season should have been declared null and void once it became clear it couldn’t be finished.  Jack Payne leaving when he did was also a real disappointment to me.  I think if he’d stayed another season, he would certainly have benefited from that as it’s fair to say that his career hasn’t really progressed in the way most people thought it would when he was here.”

“I joined the Shrimpers Trust Board in 2009 and took on the role of running the Southend Junior Shrimpers (the fore-runner of the Junior Blues) pretty much straight away.  I took over the Junior Blues Co-ordinator role when it was launched in 2013, with the sterling support of my husband Kev, without whom it wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful as it is now.  Obviously, we have our flag bearers before kick-off at every home game and regular exclusive events are held throughout the season including a “Meet the Players Day” at Roots Hall, a Christmas party, Easter events etc as well as running regular competitions in our bi-monthly newsletter to our members.”

In 2010, Kay along with five other Southend United fans – Malcolm “Harry” Roberts, Paul Cox, Richard Reade, Ian Crossman and (travelling reserve) Scott Clough, together with their owl mascot, Chrissy Powl,  auditioned for and were selected to appear on BBC2 television quiz “Eggheads” hosted by Jeremy Vine.  “We were flown up to Glasgow to record the programme, I was third up and played against Barry, after us having lost previous rounds on Geography and TV & Entertainment.  We won our fourth round, which was wonderful and much-missed Harry Roberts on Sport against former ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ winner Judith Keppel, so we had two in the final.  We actually took them to a tie break and although in the end, we lost, it really was a great experience to be involved in something like that.”

“My all-time favourite Southend player?  Without a doubt Freddy. Who can ever forget his hat-trick on debut v Swansea?  He was so exciting.  Every time he got the ball you could feel the buzz of the crowd as it always seemed like he was going to do something special with it.  Other players I have really liked have been Terry Nicholl, Alan McCormack, Duncan Jupp, Stuart Parker, Francis Laurent and Anthony Wordsworth, who we were pleased to have been able to sponsor during his time at Southend.”

“Unfortunately, due to family commitments between 1982 and 2003, I was unable to come to games so when selecting my “Southend United All-Time Great XI” I didn’t think I could really include the likes of Collymore, Powell, Tilly etc as I didn’t see them play.  That said, I think this is a pretty decent team picked from the players I have seen in action for Blues over the years: 

1.  Mervyn Cawston.  2.  John White.  3.  Steve Yates.  4.  Anthony Wordsworth.  5.  Alan Moody.  6.  Adam Barrett.  7.  Terry Nicholl.  8.  Ryan Leonard.  9.  Stuart Parker.  10.  Freddy Eastwood and 11.  Peter Taylor.  Substitutes – 12.  Kevin Maher.  13.  Neil Freeman.  14.  Alan McCormack.  15.  Efe Sodje.  16.  Lee Barnard.  17.  Wayne Gray and 18.  Mitchell Cole.  Manager – Dave Smith (with an honourable mention for Steve Tilson)

Kay Fogg has contributed much to her beloved Southend United over the years and without any doubt whatsoever, she is truly a credit to this club and a top-class Shrimper in every way.  #COYB"

By Dave Bishop        

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