Southend United

Roots Hall

Capacity: 12,392 (all seated)
Address: Victoria Ave, Southend, SS2 6NQ
Telephone: 01702 304050
Fax: 01702 304124
Ticket Office: 08444 770077
Pitch Size: 110 x 74 yards
Club Nickname: The Shrimpers
Year Ground Opened: 1955*
Shirt Sponsors: MD
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Blue With Sky Blue Trim
Away Kit: Pink and Black

East (Main) Stand
East (Main) Stand
Looking Towards The North Stand
Looking Towards The North Stand
East and South Stands
East and South Stands
South Stand
South Stand
North Stand
North Stand
From Behind The North Stand
From Behind The North Stand
Main Stand External View
Main Stand External View
West Stand
West Stand

At one end of the ground is the relatively modern South Stand. This stand which was opened in 1994, replaced a former open terrace and greatly improved the overall look. It is a small 'double decker' type of stand, the upper tier hanging over the lower. It is all seated and covered, but unfortunately has a few supporting pillars. On its roof is a small clock, dedicated to former player, Director & Chairman, Frank Walton. There are a couple of blocks of flats that overlook the ground from behind this stand. Opposite is the North Stand, which like the West Stand at one side of the pitch, is single tiered and has an old looking 'barrel' shaped roof (that dates back to the 1950’s), with the West Stand having a unique double barrel roof. The West Stand extends around to the North Stand so that one corner is filled with seating. It has a number of supporting pillars right at the front, which may hinder your view of the action. It also has the most precarious looking TV gantry that stands on stilts and is accessed by a long ladder.

On the other side is the East (Main) Stand which is another single tiered, covered stand, that has a row of executive boxes running across the back of it. At the front are some strange looking dugouts, which has the management team standing at the front leaning on a wall, with the players sitting behind. The ground has four tall traditional looking floodlight pylons. In other words a proper football ground! On the roof of the North Stand is a relatively new scoreboard that was installed in 2012. The club have an unusual looking club mascot called 'Elvis J Eel', the 'J' standing for jellied!

The club has resurrected plans to build a new 21,000 capacity stadium at Fossetts Farm, just behind the club’s training ground in Eastern Avenue.The scheme plans also to feature a hotel, retail space, a cinema, plus indoor soccer pitches and residential accommodation. It is anticipated that a formal planning application will be submitted before the end of 2015 and if approved, work could commence in the Autumn of 2016. However, initially the stadium will be restricted to a capacity of 14,000 and will only have three sides. It is hoped that revenue generated from the new build will then be used to fund future developments. The announcement has been treated cautiously as the Club had announced a similar scheme in the past which did not materialise. So watch this space.... More information can be found on the Southend United FC website.

Away fans are normally housed on one side of the North Stand (on the Main Stand side of the ground), where up to 1,200 away supporters can be accommodated. If demand requires it then the whole stand can be allocated bringing the allocation up to 2,000 seats. The stand is covered, but there are a number of supporting pillars running across the front of the stand that could impede your view. The stand is a former terrace and like most former terraces that have had seats bolted onto them, the leg room and height distance between each row is less than desirable. One good thing for away fans in the North Stand, is that comparatively few numbers of fans can really make some noise from it, making for a good atmosphere. Refreshments within the away area are served from an 'Transport Cafe' type establishment, complete with tables and chairs. Bear in mind though, that getting your drinks in one piece back to your seat can be quite a challenge. The front of the stand is below pitch level, with stairs leading up to each pitch access point where the stewards stand. Going up and down these flights of stairs, with a cup of coffee in each hand, can present a problem. 

Even though Roots Hall is an older ground it has some rather modern electronic turnstiles. Each match ticket has a bar code printed onto it and fans insert their ticket into a bar code reader at the turnstile to gain entrance to the stadium. I did notice once inside the stadium, that the stewards were alerted when a concession or junior ticket was being used, so that they could check that it was for the appropriate person.

At the ground is the Shrimpers Bar. Although primarily for home fans, it does admit away supporters, apart from 'high profile' matches. It serves real ale and has a number of television screens showing the early kick off. Otherwise there is the Blue Boar pub which is located on the main Victoria Road, just up from the ground (going towards Southend town centre) on one corner of the crossroads.

A bit further away is the 'The Bell', a large Toby Carvery, which you pass on your way into Southend on the A127. The town centre is around a 20 minute walk away, where there are plenty of pubs including a Wetherspoons outlet (the Last Post on Clifftown Road). There are also a number of bars along the seafront, which can be quite nice on a a sunny Saturday afternoon.

The Spread Eagle pub near to the ground is for home fans only. Please note that alcohol is not served to away fans within the stadium. There is also a good fish and chip shop located across the road from the Blue Boar by the traffic lights, called the 'Fish House', which I found to be excellent. Judging by the amount of fans standing outside eating fish and chips (there is some seating inside as well), then I'm not the only one that thinks it is good.

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Southend Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

From M25 take Junction 29 and follow the A127 to Southend. Continue towards the town centre, through the lights near to the Bell Pub. At the next roundabout turn right (3rd turning), continuing on the A127. The ground is on the right just past the next traffic lights. If you turn right as you reach the ground, this will put you behind the away end where there is plenty of street parking to be found. Otherwise there is a car park at the ground, behind the Main Stand which costs £5, or there is the Southend High School For Boys which also offers car parking for £5 per car (the school entrance is on Prittlewell Road). 

Bear in mind that in the fair weather months Aug/Sep/April/May, if the weather is at all sunny the whole of East London seems to head down the A127 on a Saturday afternoon, so allow an extra 30 mins if the temperature is on the warm side. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: SS2 6NQ

The closest station to the ground is Prittlewell, about a five minute walk away. It is served by trains from London Liverpool Street. As you exit the station turn right, you will then come to a crossroads with traffic lights. On your right is the 'Fish House', fish and chip shop. Pass this and turn right. Walk about 100 yards and the ground is tucked away on your left.

If you happen to end up at Southend Central station (served by trains from London Fenchurch Street), you're about a 25 minute walk from the ground. The main bus station is close to Southend Central, and therefore it may be an idea to get a bus up to the ground, rather than walking.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

All areas of the Stadium*
Adults £22
Over 60's £15
Under 21's/Students £14
Under 16's £10
Under 8's £4 

* Please note that these prices are for tickets purchased prior to matchday. Tickets purchased on the matchday itself can cost up to £3 more per ticket.

Official Programme £3
All At Sea Fanzine £1

Southend United FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Colchester United, Leyton Orient, Dagenham and Redbridge and West Ham United.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

31,090 v Liverpool, FA Cup 3rd Round, January 10th, 1979.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

11,735 v Yeovil Town League Two, April 30th, 2005.

Average Attendance

2015-2016: 7,001 (League One)
2014-2015: 6,024 (League Two)
2013-2014: 5,960 (League Two)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the photos of Roots Hall.

Southend United v Gillingham
Football League One
Saturday 6th August 2016, 3pm
Harvey McKenzie (Gillingham fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?

It was the first game of the new season and a local away game seemed like the perfect chance to visit a new ground. Also, I hear Southend may well be moving soon to a new stadium. so I thought it would be good to pay Roots Hall a visit.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The journey there was pretty awful for us to be honest. As this guide helpfully points out, if it's a sunny day, it seems like everyone is going through that area. Road works and accidents made the journey even longer and it took us about two hours to travel 40 miles. We managed to park at Southend High School for boys at around 1:45pm.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

We wanted to get in the ground early to get our seats (seating was unreserved) so we didn't have time to find any pubs or chip shops. Eventually we just decided to get food and drink inside the stadium. We didn't really see many home fans but there didn't seem to be any hostility about either.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Ground?

Roots Hall is looking a bit run down these days but it looks like it gets the job done. The leg room in the away end is pretty undesirable but our fans just stood for most of the match anyway. The other stands look okay but like I say, could do with a bit of a facelift.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game started as typically as any other first day of the season, pretty frantic! Southend took the lead on 22 minutes when Stephen McLaughlin shot from distance and Stuart Nelson was unable to save. The Gills seemed to come alive after that and new signing Jay Emmanuel-Thomas fired home from a corner to make it 1-1 and send the 2,000 Gills fans into raptures. The second half was dominated by Gillingham and we took full advantage as Max Ehmer headed home from Ryan Jacksons throw. 2-1! We continued to attack Southend throughout most of the half and Emmanuel Osadebe slotted home to make it 3-1 and the Gills were on our way to opening day success. The atmosphere was brilliant in the away end with constant singing and chanting. The stand opposite the Main Stand at Southend is where their best atmosphere is although I couldn't hear it all that well from where I was sitting. The toilets at the ground are not for the faint of heart although the food was actually pretty nice (I had a cheeseburger ). Stewards were passive and let the fans enjoy themselves, although they did have to deal with some fans who decided to let off flares when we scored.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy and quick and, after getting out of the car park, the journey home took us half the time of the journey there. We arrived home delighted with the points at around 6:45pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, a brilliant day out with a 3-1 win away from home that made the struggle of a journey completely worth it. Hope to visit more venues later in what I hope will be a good season. Come on you Gills!

Southend United v Gillingham
Football League One
Saturday 19th March 2016, 3pm
Lee Hepburn (Gillingham fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?

I was looking forward to visiting Southend United for a lot of reasons. Firstly it was my first away game following the Gills. It also had a local derby feel as Southend is only an hours drive away from Gillingham and two there was going to be almost 2,000 Gillingham fans going to Roots hall. So this was going to be a game not to be missed and hopefully one to remember.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I travelled with my Father and Brother on one of the official club supporters coaches, heading to Southend  We left the Preistfield Stadium.at 12 noon. It was a great atmosphere on the bus and this wasn't dampened by a longer than expected journey due to heavy traffic. We eventually arrived at Roots Hall at 13:50. The coach pulled up right outside the away turnstiles so we didn't have to find our way.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

By the time we got off the coach it was 2pm so we brought a programme and went straight into the ground. The ground has electric turnstiles which I found easy to use, others who struggled were quickly helped by stewards. 

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Roots Hall?

To be honest Roots Hall looks quite run down in places. However there was a good atmosphere in the away end, helped by the low roof which amplified the noise. The stand is all seated and there wasn't a  a lot of room between seats, giving the impression that they had almost been squashed in together. As regards the toilets, well they left a lot to be desired and weren't for the faint hearted. The other stands looked okay. The one opposite to the away end (the smallest stand at the ground) was two tiered and looked quite new. The stand to the right of us was the only one with a bit of atmosphere from the home fans.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game finished 1-1 but the Gills should have won the game. One goal that looked fine was ruled offside, whilst there was more controversy when a goal line ball clearance by a Southend player, looked to have crossed the line. Southend took the lead on 21 minutes following a dodgy back pass which let the Southend number 22 in easily to tap it home Gillingham equalised early in the second half through Norris, who guided the ball into the top corner from close range. The atmosphere in the way end was fantastic, but this could not be said of the stewards who seemed heavy handed at times.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of Southend took about 30 minutes because of heavy traffic but apart from that was a smooth calm ride home to the ground which we arrived back at just after 18:45 and walked home very very tired.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a brilliant day out and hopefully one of many more to come. It was a shame we didn't grab all three points but oh well as least we didn't lose which was the main thing. The 1,903 visiting fans were amazing the noise felt like 10,000 away supporters at times! Lets we can keep pushing towards the Championship League. Come On You Gills!

Southend United v Exeter City
League Two
Saturday October 18th 2014, 3pm
Steve Ellis (Exeter City fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to going to this ground?

This was another new ground for me to visit. Also with Roots Hall being an old traditional ground and with Southend looking to possibly move to a new stadium, then I wanted to visit it before Southend move away from Roots Hall.

2. How easy was your journey and finding the ground?

I travelled as usual on the supporters coach, leaving Exeter at 7.30am. The journey should have been straight forward but an incident that closed the M5 meant a diversion along some of the old roads for about 13 miles. We eventually got to the ground with no further incident at 1.50pm

3. What did you do before the game, pub, chippy....home fans friendly?

On arrival we headed up to the Blue Boar pub, which is away supporter friendly and will take a mix of home and away fans and was not over busy while we were there. Pints were priced at £3.70. Home fans that I encountered were friendly enough.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground,  first impressions of away end and then other sides of ground?

The away supporters are housed on one side of the North Stand. On getting into the ground, the turnstile is just behind the away end with entry to the stand located at the side and then up some steps. The view from the seats is good but can be restricted by supporting pillars. Depending on the game the away support get up to half the stand, I guess this can be increased for larger followings. The West Stand joins onto the North Stand and also has supporting pillars. The East Stand on our left is slightly better as it does not have any pillars. There is a nice two tiered stand at the South end.

View From The Away Section

View from the away section

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, refreshments etc.

The game was enjoyable with both teams having opportunities to take all three points, but it ended in a 1-1 draw. There seemed to be a good atmosphere, stewards were low key but helpful. I didn't get any refreshments but noted that they were sold in a proper room with a few tables, reminding me of an old fish and chip shop. Toilets though were disgusting and looked and smelt as though no one had made an effort with cleaning or drainage in last few weeks.

6. Comments on getting away from the ground after the game.

No issues in getting away after the game as the coach was parked right outside the away end and once clear of the post match traffic it was an easy journey back towards the motorway, eventually getting home just after 10pm.

Southend United v Northampton Town
League Two
Saturday August 17th 2013, 3pm
Simon Turner (Northampton Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had recently moved to London and with Southend effectively being on my doorstep, I thought this would be a good opportunity to tick another ground off on my list and to support the Cobblers.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I got a train from Stratford to Prittlewell station which is the closest station to the ground and with the help of a friendly Southend fan, I found the ground with little trouble.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

There isn’t too much to do for an away fan before the game as most of the pubs are for home fans only so it is probably best to just head into the ground. It is also worth mentioning that the ground does not sell alcohol to supporters (away fans at least). I have read before that Southend fans have a bad reputation but everyone I spoke to was friendly and I didn’t feel unwelcome.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

I met a mate of mine outside the away turnstiles and we proceeded to struggle with the electronic ticket barrier where the stewards had to help out. Roots Hall is a nice enough ground that can be considered unique unlike many of the modern stadiums. The away stand is great for singing and chanting due to the way the roof echo’s.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game itself was very disappointing from a Northampton perspective as we missed a penalty and had a player sent off in the space of 20 minutes. From that point it was all Southend and the game was only ever going to end one way and Southend did enough to win 2-0. The atmosphere was good with both sides singing and producing some good banter throughout the match. Stewards were anonymous most of the time but I did see them remove a Cobblers fan but I’m not sure why. The facilities were basic but they served their purpose.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was fine and I was back on the train to London within 20 minutes where I had a pleasant chat with an old Southend fan about the game and our team’s prospects.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Other then the result it was a nice day out and one worth doing, especially if Southend leave Roots Hall for a new ground which seems fairly likely. Overall it is definitely worth a day out.

Southend United v Leyton Orient
Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area Final, 2nd leg
Wednesday February 20th 2013, 7.45pm
Bill Lacy (Leyton Orient fan)

My Roots Hall visit was on a Wednesday night for a Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Final. It was a big game and I was expecting a tremendous atmosphere. It didn't disappoint.
 
Getting there from London by train was easy enough and I was there in less than 50 minutes from Stratford. The nearest railway station is Prittlewell and the ground is extremely easy to find in about 10 minutes. Getting back was more of a hassle as for some reason the trains stop running directly into London after 9pm, necessitating a change at the non-descript town of Shenfield.
 
I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to have a drink as all the pubs en route to the ground were home-fans only. There is a little food shack in the ground but they don't serve booze. I was minded to try a fish and chip shop which was recommended by a number of people which is passed on the way to the ground. However, the queue was ridiculous, actually curving out the shop and half way down the road. Instead I made do with a fairly mediocre sausage roll in the ground. 
 
Roots Hall is a proper old school ground and the atmosphere was brilliant. The away end is covered by an arching rooftop which reverberates the sound back down. It is a bit of a squeeze in there as they have simply bolted on seats to what used to be the terracing. The view is also hampered by a number of supporting pillars. The front row is so shallow you can barely see the action, but luckily I got there early and could sit where I wanted. They don't seem to mind you standing here, which can be good but periodically means the already limited view is hampered even more when someone gets up. The only time I've had a worse view was at Bury, but the atmosphere made up for it. It was a really enjoyable football experience.

As for the game itself, then having lost the 1st leg 1-0, then Orient were always going to be up against it. Still a good performance from the O's saw us take a 2-1 lead in the leg, making it 2-2 on aggregate. But in the 90th minute, with the prospect of extra time and maybe even penalties on the horizon, Ben Reeves grabbed a goal for the home side, sending them onto the Wembley final.
 
On the down side, the stewards were a bit off-hand to be honest and the Essex Police even worse, unnecessarily re-routing people around four roads on the way out, which never kept the fans apart anyway. A lot of the Southend lot were also quite provocative.
 
We lost in dramatic fashion and the Southend fans invaded the pitch. I'd love to try Roots Hall again, although next time on a Saturday!

Southend United v Rochdale
League Two
Saturday November 24th 2012, 3pm
Nigel Watson (Rochdale fan)

My son and I decided to make the trip to Southend to watch Rochdale. I'd never been to Roots Hall before, so I was curious. We went by car, and arrived in Southend about 50 minutes before kick-off. Roots Hall is located in a residential area. We thought that it would be easy to park in one of the back streets, but it was really difficult to find a space. After about 20 minutes we got lucky, then walked to the ground, which took another 20 minutes, arriving just before kick-off.

It was reasonably cheap to get in; less than £25 for both of us. However, when we got inside the ground we realised why the ticket prices were so low. Roots Hall is all-seater. However, the seats in the North Bank were just bolted on to an old, gently sloping, terrace. There were two problems: zero leg room and a poor view. The gently sloping terrace means that you can't see properly if somebody sits in front of you - even somebody 5ft 2"would block your view. There are also pillars supporting the roof of the North Bank that can block your view too.

Southend have a policy of allowing home and away supporters to share the North Bank. The Southend fans love the North Bank because it has a great echo. Unfortunately, the segregation on this visit was inadequate. There was less than 10m between the two sets of fans, the only separation being a piece of fabric draped down a set of seats and an handful of nightclub bouncers - I mean stewards. A hardcore of 50 or so Southend Fans spent most of the game watching, and shouting at, the Rochdale fans, creating an intimidating atmosphere. My son, who is eight didn't like it.

In the second half things escalated. After Southend scored their second goal to take the lead, the segregation between the two groups of fans almost broke down. I saw the stewards roughly man-handling a Rochdale fan from his seat. I don't know what this guy had done. Apparently, a number of complaints were made about the stewarding.

The upshot is that Southend United is a relatively cheap place to watch football. Parking near the ground is very difficult. And finally, I think that it's fair to say that the club isn't family friendly. They need to get the segregation sorted out in the North Bank as soon as possible, other wise something worse could happen in the future. At the moment, I would not advise taking a child to watch a game there.

Southend United v Barnet
League Two
Saturday, 6th October 2012, 3pm
James Sweeney (Barnet fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the ground: 
We go for a day trip to Southend quite a lot and pass the ground when we are heading for the seafront. As it is quite local, we made the trip down the A127 to add to the collection of local grounds that we have visited. Also, we decided to go early so we could spend some time by the sea and driving around Southend and Thorpe Bay as we had plenty of time to spare before the match.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 
The journey is very straight forward. From London you get onto the M25 via the A10 and leave at junction 29 for the A127 which after about 15 miles takes you to the ground and is well signposted along this road. We parked at the Saxon King pub on the A1159.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly? 
We had lunch at the seafront before driving around Southend and taking our place in the away end with the 600 or so travelling bees fans. The home fans were quite welcoming.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
The ground is generally quite old but modern in parts, with some vintage floodlights. The stands are quite similar to each other and could accommodate about 3-4000 fans each. The barnet fans were housed in the North Stand where we made a lot of noise as we fought hard from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.. 
A 2-2 draw from 2-0 down. Goals from Curtis Weston and Clovis Kamdjo For barnet. The atmosphere was very good with both teams getting behind their teams. Stewarding was relaxed and friendly and the facillities were good. The away end was decent enough but was quite dark dur to a low hanging roof.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Back onto the A127 and it was queuing for about 4 miles before we got out of southend and into the 50 mph bit of the A127. As soon as you are out of Southend, you can make it back to London within 45 minutes and is a nice journey through the Essex Countryside.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
A good performance from both teams for a hard fought 2-2 draw at Roots Hall. I would definitely go again if they play and spend time at the seafront. Next time, I would leave the M25 at junction 30 and take the A13 to Southend. Good day out though and I would recommend it for other visiting fans.

Why not write your own review of Roots Hall Southend United and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* Football had been played on the same site since 1906. The Club subsequently built a new ground at Roots Hall in the 1950's.

Updated 23rd August 2016

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