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Southend United celebrate 60th anniversary at Roots Hall

20 August 2015

Southend United are celebrating their 60th year at Roots Hall, and we've taken a look at some of the magic moments from their time at the stadium.

On Saturday 20th August 1955, Southend played their first match at their new home when they hosted Norwich City in the Division 3 (South), and the Shrimpers faithful were treated to the points after a 3-1 victory.

Today marks 60 years exactly since our first ever game at Roots Hall against @NorwichCityFC.

— Southend United (@SUFCRootsHall) August 20, 2015
The development of Roots Hall was funded by the Supporters’ Club, and was built entirely by the club itself – led by groundsman Sid Broomfield with help from fans and even players.

The ground would remain the newest in The Football League until Scunthorpe United opened Glanford Park in 1988.

Just a few weeks after that win over the Canaries, the biggest league attendance at Roots Hall was set when 21,020 fans witnessed a goalless stalemate with Leyton Orient.

The highest overall attendance at the stadium came against Liverpool in the FA Cup 24 years later, when more than 31,000 spectators made their way through the turnstiles to witness another 0-0!

The 1992/93 season was a long and arduous one for the fans, with the club struggling at the wrong end of the Division 1 table for much of the season. However, Southend stayed up with a last-day victory over Luton Town.

The Blues had a memorable few years under the guidance of Steve Tilson, with the manager leading his side to the League 1 title in 2005/06.

A dramatic end to the season saw the title race go down to the wire, but a late goal from Wayne Gray against Bristol City clinched the championship despite the pressure from Essex rivals Colchester United.

The following season, Southend famously overcame Manchester United at Roots Hall in a League Cup fixture courtesy of a Freddy Eastwood strike, in what remains the only competitive meeting between the two clubs.

Eastwood was one of a number of popular faces to grace Roots Hall over the years. Other figures include the club's record appearance holder Alan Moody, Mark Gower, Adam Barrett and Stan Collymore – the latter wished the club and it's stadium a happy birthday on social media.

Happy 60th Birthday Roots Hall @SUFCRootsHall !! Some of my happiest days ever on that pitch!! #RootsHallAt60

— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) August 20, 2015
Last term saw a number of memorable home performances, particularly during the second half of the campaign. Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley broke a long-standing club record by keeping 12 consecutive home clean sheets, which culminated in the Shrimpers sealing promotion at Wembley Stadium.

Read more: Southend United's Dan Bentley praises team-mates after keeping record-breaking clean sheet

Southend will celebrate their 60th anniversary at Roots Hall this weekend when they host Swindon Town in Sky Bet League 1.

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