Day 25 – Chelmsford-Southend-Gillingham!
So it was time to just into Southend-On-Sea, which funnily enough is home to Southend United. No explanations necessary so let’s just get straight into the juicy bits.
League 2’s Southend play at Roots Hall Stadium, but not if they have anything to do with it for much longer. You see they are planning on moving to Fossets Farm into a sparkly 21,000 seater stadium which will cost a whopping 80 million to build. Bloody hell, if this is what it’s like to play in league 2 I want in. They’ve painted some local buildings to help push the message too. This is what I love about football. If anyone else did it it would be seen as vandalism.
The gates to Roots Hall are a nice touch, but the flags could do with a clean. Or a tall employee to change them.
Now onto Kent. Gillingham Football Club to be precise and a ground proving initial impressions can be deceiving. Very deceiving. This ground went from Del Trotter to Alan Sugar in the space of 30 seconds.
The first thing I approached was the stands. Which upon first impressions look lucky to be standing at all. Talking of TV, hows this for a Steptoe and Son setup.
I can hear you lot groaning as much as these stands are as I tell you that in my opinion, they have the greatest ground bar name that ever existed in football.
The Brian Moore stand greets you as you go in, named in honour of lifelong Gills fan, club director and coveted footballing commentator who’s career was that decorated, he covered 9 world cup finals. Interestingly, he also lent his unmistakable voice to Liverpool Football Clubs ‘Anfield Rap’ and his commentary on Aston Villas winning goal in the 1982 European Cup final against Bayern Munich is proudly displayed on a banner across Villas North Stand. It’s fair to say the boy made a mark on football 👏
At what I now know is the back of the stadium, it backs onto a residential street and you see a lot of this at lower league grounds. Its something I love, being able to just walk 5 seconds from your front door and enter your stadium must be incredible and I actually think it looks incredible. Most bigger stadiums are detached from the community and theres a fair share of romanticism involved when I see these stadiums integrated with the locals like this.
So, London bound I am.
TO THE CAPITAL!