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We’ll never walk alone!

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Brian Jeeves reminds football supporters that it’s much more than just a game.

Two successive defeats have somewhat dampened the early season optimism amongst my fellow Southend United supporter. Nevertheless, here is a timely reminder that football is about so much more. Those priceless days spent in the stands or on the terraces are something we should treasure; they are about passion, friendship, camaraderie. With the blessing of his family, I share the piece I wrote for my friend Martin Cranmer. However good or bad Southend United might be, what I’d give to spend another afternoon at the match with him.

It’s 4:40pm some Saturday afternoon in the future, we’re 49-miles North of Northshire and Southend United are losing 3-0.

 Our fate was sealed quite early in the match. The finger of blame has long since been pointed at the Players, Manager, Chairman, Bus driver and what’s more it’s now pissing with rain and we’ve got a 5-hour journey home!

 In one final act of defiance the travelling Shrimpers burst into a chorus of “Oh Southend we love you”, because despite what has been a bloody awful 90-minutes on the terraces, we do.

 In some unique way, this seems to unite our travelling band, making it all worthwhile. Of course those who see the result in Sunday’s paper won’t understand, “Waste of money” or “Why bother” they’ll say. Nevertheless, this single act of solidarity is something only the few who do it will appreciate.

 I think back to the numerous times we’ve stood together, miles from home, win, lose or draw, rain, shine or snow and think of you.

 You can’t be seen but I know you’re here, kicking every ball, cheering every goal, sinking a cheeky pint.

 I turn back to the match, it’s 4-0 now, but it doesn’t matter, we’ll be doing it again next week and you’ll be there too.

 It has been 3-years since God found something far more important for you to do, but we still love and remember you and know we will never walk alone.

Sleep tight my friend

Martin Cranmer - 26th March 1970 – 6th August 2010 xxx