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
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Shrimpers
Year Ground Opened: 1955*
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: Seetec Skills
Kit Manufacturer: Nike
Home Kit: Blue With Sky Blue Trim
Away Kit: Yellow 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 a 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 have submitted plans to build a new 22,000 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 planning permission is quickly forthcoming then works could start towards the end of this year. 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.

Away fans are normally housed on one side of the Colourfast 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 a '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. If Southend score then Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes is blasted out around the stadium.

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. Alas, there is little in the way of away fan friendly pubs close to the ground. Both the Spread Eagle pub and Blue Boar pubs are for home fans only, as well as the Railway close to Prittlewell Railway Station. That just leaves 'The Bell' which is a large Toby Carvery, which you pass on your way into Southend on the A127. 

Otherwise the town centre is around a 20 minute walk away, where there are plenty of pubs including a Wetherspoons outlet (called the Last Post on Weston Road) which admits away fans. There are also a number of bars along the seafront, which can be quite nice on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Please note that alcohol is not served to away fans within the stadium.

Fish & Chips

A trip to the seaside usually involves a fish & chip meal at some point. There is also a good fish and chip shop near to Roots Hall, which is 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 number 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.

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. There is no car parking available for visiting fans at the ground itself. There is the Southend High School For Boys (SS0 0RG) 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 minutes if the temperature is on the warm side. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: SS2 6NQ

Prittlewell Railway Station is the closest to Roots Hall, being located 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.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

All areas of the Roots Hall 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

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

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

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. Just input the dates below that you wish to stay and then select from the map the hotel of interest to get more information. The map is centered to the football ground. However, you can drag the map around or click on +/- to reveal more hotels in the town centre or further afield.

Booking.com

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, 10th January 1979.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

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

Average Attendance

2018-2019: 6,932 (League One)
2017-2018: 7,195 (League One)
2016-2017: 7,406 (League One)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I'll update the guide.

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

Southend United v Accrington Stanley
League 1
Saturday 28th September 2019, 3pm
Adam Houlden (Accrington Stanley)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?
 
I always enjoy my away games even the long trips like Roots Hall. It is my third time to Roots Hall an old school ground with lots of atmosphere.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I travelled on the supporters coach with my mother setting off at 7.30 arriving at Southend at 1.30 after a traffic free journey.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Went to a chippy close to the ground with a cafe inside where we had a great dinner and chatted to a few home fans about how we both needed the points.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Stadium?
 
As I said earlier it was my third visit to the ground, which was still the same with the Stanley fans (all 135 of us) in the same place as previous visits, at one end behind the goal.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
My visit was made memorable by the Head Steward called Jordan who got me on the pitch before the game to read out Stanleys team for the day. Thank you very much Jordan. The game was very average but deservedly won by the Stanley 1-0 and should have been more. I think Southend are in for a tough season.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
The coach waiting for us at the end of the game. Straight away and home by 11pm.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A much needed three points for the Stanley to make a long day worthwhile and made even better by going on the pitch to read Stanleys team out.

Southend United v MK Dons
League Cup 2nd Round
Tuesday 27th August 2019, 7.45pm
Pete Williams (MK Dons)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?
 
Whilst I have previously visited this ground on a number of occasions, this was an important Cup game bearing in mind the winner could draw a "big" club in the next round.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I went by the official coach. As we were travelling part of the way in rush hour and there is really only 1 road into Southend (A127), the time taken was nearly three hours.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Attempted to have a drink in the Shrimpers Bar but it was closed. However, a steward very kindly allowed us to use another bar at the club. As I wanted an update on the Bury/Bolton situation I asked a home fan who informed me of what was happening. Other home fans in the bar were also friendly.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Roots Hall?
 
Whilst small, the ground does have a lot of charm and I suspect if it is full then a very good atmosphere will prevail. The away end is fully covered and allows fans to make a lot of noise. The opposite end of the ground was closed and whilst the Main Stand was quite full, the other side only had a small number of fans.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was quite open with the Dons having the better of the 1st half and deserved their 2 goal lead. After the break, Southend looked a much better team and it was no surprise when they scored. Despite a couple of close calls, the Dons held firm and even grabbed 2 more goals at the end. The atmosphere was a bit muted and I hardly saw the Stewards which is a good thing. I had a Cheeseburger which was really good and reasonably priced.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Apart from crawling along the A127 at the beginning, the rest of the journey home was good and we arrived back in Milton Keynes at midnight.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Good performance, good beer, good food and apart from travelling down in the rush hour, the evening was very enjoyable.

Southend United v Barnsley
League 1
Saturday 2nd March 2019, 12.30 pm
David Crossfield (Barnsley)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?
 
Having regretted not going to Portsmouth the previous week I made a late decision to go to Southend. My friend lives nearby in Romford, so it was another chance to meet up. I've never been to Southend before and I am trying to visit some new stadiums this season. This was my sixth new ground. Barnsley were in second place in the League on an unbeaten run of fourteen games. Unfortunately, SKY television decided to televise the fixture and bring the kick off forward to 12.30pm meaning an early start for visiting fans.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I travelled down from Doncaster on Grand Central Trains. The 08.32 got me to Kings Cross for 10.05. Then it was a tube to Tower Hill and then a short walk to Fenchurch Street. There are regular rail services to Southend Central. Some take 54 minutes and others 20 minutes longer. I did consider Liverpool Street to Prittlewell, but this was affected by engineering work over the weekend. I got to Southend about 11.45.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
There wasn't time for a pre-match drink or food, although my friend had been in Wetherspoons outside the station whilst he was waiting for me. It was an easy flat walk to the ground and took about 20 minutes.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Stadium?
 
The Roots Hall ground is quite run down but has some character. The double-decker home end stand, with an old analogue clock, which is a nice feature. The away end is okay. The leg room isn't great, although I've been in worse. The supporting pillars can spoil the view, but you can find seats with a good view if it's not a sell-out. The seating was unallocated.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Barnsley took 470 fans in a crowd of over 6,000. The away support was lower than I expected after 2,000 went to Portsmouth the preceding week. With the early kick off and SKY coverage, I expect some decided not to travel. The Southend support was noisy in the first half, backed by a rather annoying drum. Young Barnsley player Jacob Brown had just been awarded EFL player of the month for January. Unfortunately, he got a straight red card after 35 minutes. The referee was well placed. There was minimal contact. It was assumed that the referee judged the tackle to be reckless and out of control. The game had been fairly tame until then. At least the sending off gave SKY pundits something to discuss at half time. 
 
Barnsley scored early in the second half and went on to win 3-0 with some really good high energy football. They created several good chances as Southend pushed forward. The away end atmosphere was jubilant with chants of "we've only got ten men". The home support had little to cheer with Davies, the Barnsley keeper, making only a couple of saves. I did have a look in the quirky refreshment room and could have murdered a beer if any had been on sale. In the second half, the catering lady closed up and put a box of unsold pies etc outside the door and invited fans to help themselves, which was well received by some. Turning to stewarding I have to be very negative. At half time some stewards went to the back of the away end apparently to remonstrate with Barnsley fans for banging on the back of the stand. This escalated into a punch up. One steward in particular was pointed out to the Club Police Liaison Officer for their behaviour. The situation calmed down when the stewards were forced to retreat from the stand without making any ejections.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
The only problem was having to walk the long way around the ground as the away exit gate was closed. This is fine if you are on a coach as it leads to the coach park, but otherwise, you still meet home fans. As we didn't have time for a pre-match drink I had agreed to stay for a couple of hours (well three or four). My friend dragged me to Mawsons micropub on Southchurch Road. Nice pub. Good ale. Camra discount. Good music. However, you need plenty of time as it's forty minutes walk from the ground. After a couple of pints, we caught a bus (number 1) back to the town centre. As I was heading back to Fenchurch Street and he was going on the same line to Upminster, we stopped off at Leigh on Sea. We went into a lovely old pub called the Crooked Billet. Only five minutes walk from the station.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Nice to tick off another ground. A long day for me and an early start. A fantastic result to win 0-3 in front of SKY cameras having played an hour with 10 men. The sending off of Brown, especially with top scorer Keiffer Moore out for the rest of the season, was disappointing. The issue with the stewards will hopefully be investigated further.

Southend City v Bristol Rovers
League 1
Saturday 2nd February 2019, 3pm
Yaz Shah (Bristol Rovers)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?
 
We needed the points as we are in serious relegation worries. Also, this was my fourth visit in as many years.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Very easy by car. I took the A1 from North West London, then the M25 then A127 straight there. It took about one and a half  hours to travel about 70 miles. I found some off-street parking around ten minutes walk away from Roots Hall.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I went to the Blue Boar pub located on crossroads as per last year. The pub which was full of away fans was small but friendly, but no Sky Sports. I then went across the road to the local fish and chip shop called the 'Fish House' which is very popular and busy. All very good.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Stadium?
 
The away end is okay. There is plenty of room to sit/stand where you want. Good views.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The stewards as usual very friendly and easy going. The food and drink facilities were okay and not too long a wait. £2 for tea. It closes just after half time. 
 
It was a superb game for us. Our fans sang for most of the match. The Southend supporters were very quiet until they scored. We should have been 2-0 up after five minutes with two missed sitters. We went 2-0 up and then they scored just before half time. 
 
We cruised the second half, hitting the crossbar and missed lots of chances and we won 2-1. It could have been 7-1. There was a great atmosphere in the away end as per usual. A very welcome three points. The referee and linesmen were superb, unlike most League One matches.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I waited 25 minutes in the car and then an easy drive back again. It was generally crowded until you hit the A127 dual carriageway outside town.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
One of the best away days for a while. We don’t usually get a result against London area clubs so a perfect day. It makes up for the hat I lost there last year on the final day of the season.

Southend United v Crawley Town
FA Cup First Round
Saturday 10th November 2018, 3pm
Geoff Thornton (Crawley Town)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?
 
There's nothing to beat the FA Cup for excitement and Roots Hall was another new ground for me.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
By supporters club coach and parked inside the ground. A great journey as the M25 and Dartford Crossing were well behaved and also on the return journey.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I arrived before one o'clock so I was able to enjoy the Railway pub in East Street near Prittlewell Station. It had a lovely relaxed atmosphere with plenty of laid-back, friendly home fans.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Stadium?
 
Roots Hall sadly is the most ramshackle ground I have visited other than Blundell Park, Grimsby. The club's hoped for move has probably deterred them from spending on improvements.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The stewards were fine, the "transport cafe" okay-ish, but under the barrelled roof, the noise was amazing. Many felt it was the best atmosphere since the days Crawley Town twice reached the Fifth Round.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Nice and direct as just 200 yards off the main road. Southend's Saturday evening traffic was just like everywhere else and if there weren't so many traffic lights on the A127 it would be a doddle.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Overall one of the most enjoyable trips for a few seasons.

Southend United v Coventry City
League 1
Saturday 20th October 2018, 3pm
Frank Alsop (Coventry City)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?
 
A nice away day to sunny Southend.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Very easy - only got held up on the A127 into Southend. The parking was easy, at Southend High School, which was only a five-minute walk to Roots Hall. I recommend parking here as easy access both before and after the game (and it only cost a fiver).
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
As I was nice and early, and the weather was fine, I took a stroll down to the seafront (a good 45 minute walk from the car park) and indulged in a fine meal of fish and chips. All the people I met were very friendly.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Stadium?
 
Roots Hall is a good old-fashioned ground with plenty of atmosphere (especially from the 1,000 Coventry fans who made the trip). The away end suffers from pillars all the way along but if you find a seat in front of them it's fine.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game itself was very good between two sides who had been on a good run of form. Surprisingly the home fans were very quiet. The pies and coffee were excellent - being served from the "transport cafe" in the away end.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Easy getting away from the ground - I was back on the A127 within 15 minutes.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A great day out and nice to take in the coastal scenery. A great result for the Sky Blues winning 2-1 - seeds of things to come hopefully. I will definitely go to Southend again.

Southend United v Peterborough United
League One
Saturday 8th September 2018, 3pm
Andy (Peterborough United)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?
 
Roots Hall is one of the old school ground and can have an excellent atmosphere even with smaller crowds.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I went by train. Some engineering work meant Southend central was the best option. So a 20-minute walk but no issues. Lots of pubs etc. in the town and a few close to the ground.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Went to a McDonalds in the town and a slow walk to the ground. The few home fans I came across were friendly enough.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall Stadium?
 
I have been to Roots Hall before and have never seen Peterborough win there in years. So I was hoping for a change of fortune. A low roof over the away end creates a good noise. I much prefer Roots Hall to some of the soulless bowls like stadium MK, which I visited the previous Tuesday.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The facilities are basic and with only one side of the stand open, there were large queues for everything at half time but no worse than some other grounds. The stewards were okay and no complaints and the ones I came across relaxed and easy going. The atmosphere very good and there was plenty of noise from the Posh fans. You can’t beat a late winner and nice for striker Ivan Toney, as his family were there to see him score his first for us.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
It is slightly annoying that you have to leave in the opposite direction to the station and then walk back through the same fans that they are trying to prevent you doing so in the first place but otherwise fine.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I always enjoy a visit to Roots Hall. It was even a better day thanks to the late winner.

Southend United v Rotherham United
League One
Saturday 24th March 2018, 3pm
Georgina Hawkes (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Roots Hall?
 
My team Maidstone were away up north so I decided to use a free Saturday to tick off another local-ish ground.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I decided to get the train rather than run the risk of the M25/Dartford Tunnel! I took a direct train from London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central. The station is located right in the centre of the High Street which is easy for access.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I arrived at around 12.30pm so wandered down to the beach and along the pier (2.6 miles along and back!) I then walked back up to the ground. This took around 20 minutes from the town centre and Roots Hall is well signposted. Everyone seemed friendly and helpful.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Roots Hall?
 
From the outside the ground, it looks very rundown and could do with a lick of paint! I had a seat in the West Stand so had to walk all the way around back out on the residential street and back in again. Could do with a few stadium maps around as I had to ask in order to find the right entrance. Its still pretty old looking and dilapidated inside but it definitely has character! The West Stand I was in has an unusual high arched roof and I was sat in front of the press gantry which involved the journalists strapping on a harness and climbing a ladder - definite character!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The match was very entertaining, especially the first half. My view wasn’t the best as I was in the front row with the pitch at eye level, although I could see both goals and most of the action seemed to be on my side. I even caught the ball at one point! The atmosphere was good, I was reasonably close to the singing section complete with a drummer. I couldn’t hear the away fans but not sure its a ground where the sound carries very far. I bought a sausage roll before the match. The snack bar was well stocked and I was quickly served. Southend won the game 2-0.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
I was intending to walk back to the town centre but I was so frozen I decided to get the bus back. Only £1.60 so worth the effort if you don’t fancy walking. The train back was easy, I was back in Maidstone by 8pm.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a good day out, Southend is a nice place for a day trip and the stadium is one to tick off before they move on to their new ground. A definite one to visit for fans of old-school traditional grounds.

Southend United v Portsmouth
League One
Saturday 17th February 2018, 3pm
Adrian (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Roots Hall Ground?
 
I hadn't been to Southend before and always heard about it being a good old proper ground located in a seaside town.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Pretty straightforward by train as I live not that far from Southend. living not far from. I went to Southend Central Station because I wanted to spend sometime visiting the seafront first.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Having lots of time on our hands we took a wander through the town centre and also down along the seafront for a few beers. It reminded me of Blackpool big Pleasure Beach and there were lots of pubs and food outlets. We had some food at a Wimpy Bar which was a nice change as you don't seem to see many Wimpy's anymore. The pubs along the seafront were welcoming and very reasonable price wise. If you do visit the seafront then leave enough time to get to the Roots Hall ground as its good 15-20 minutes walk away.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Roots Hall?
 
Very impressive as I like the old grounds. It creates a good atmosphere especially with Portsmouth being in town, who always travel in big numbers 
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was decent if you were a Southend fan, but not so much for Portsmouth, who needed the win to remain in contention for the play offs. The home side won 3-1.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Getting away from the ground was pretty straightforward. I needed to rush back so left the game five minutes early and got the train from Prittlewell Station.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A good day out and a decent game of football. It is always nice to visit an old school ground especially near a seafront which I should imagine is very popular in the summer.

Southend United v Northampton Town
Football League One
Saturday 18th February 2017, 3pm
Alex Compton (Northampton Town)

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

My son has never been to Southend before so he was looking forward to it more than me.

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

Surprisingly very easy, the M1 and the M25 were behaving themselves. We found the Roots Hall ground with ease and we parked in Priory Road next to a park which was a 4-5 minute walk away from the ground.

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

We had food in the car on the way but right near the ground is 'Pizza Man' which looked okay. The home fans seemed friendly as well as the stewards.

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

Roots Hall is an old looking ground which looks like it needs a bit of doing up but as I'm a bit old fashioned I love the traditional looking grounds over the boring soulless modern stadiums.

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

The game was a good one which ended 2-2 with Northampton twice coming from a goal down. The atmosphere in the away end sounded very loud as it had a low metal roof which echoed the noise. The home fans themselves were quite noisy but the drum they insist on banging on throughout the whole game does get slightly annoying. The stewards were very helpful, even helping me put my flag up.We only had a hot drink inside but it was reasonably priced and tasted nice.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was really easy and were back on the M25 in real quick time.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A really good day out, obviously the result and our performance helps. My son really enjoyed his first trip to Roots Hall.

Southend United v Coventry City
Football League One
Saturday 10th December 2016, 3pm
Matt (Coventry City fan)

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

I was looking forward to the game as it was another ground of the 92, plus we going to make a weekend out in Southend. However, with Coventry's recent horrific form, I wasn't looking forward to the game as much.

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

We parked at our hotel for the night and walked through the town centre which was pleasant and took about 20 minutes. With some help from Google we found the ground easy enough even though it's well hidden.

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

Pubs in the city centre were very hard to come by but the Blue Boar near the ground was away fans only. It had a great atmosphere with very friendly staff, we got food from the burger shop next door which was also excellent.

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

From the outside Roots Hall looks very old and run down and it was the same inside. However there was good atmosphere and the stadium has a lot of character.

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

The game was terrible from our point of view, a goal down after six minutes and it didn't get any better, finishing 3-1 to Southend. The stewards were good, didn't really see them too much which was probably why. The pies were good too and at a decent price too although they were sold in the away end 'restaurant' which was hardly Michelin Star!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The ground was easy to get away from but getting a taxi back towards the city centre was much more difficult. I would suggest booking before the game if possible.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, despite the game it was a great day out. Southend was a great away day, even if the stadium was run down. I would definitely recommend Roots Hall for a good away day.

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 26th October 2019

My New 2019/20
Football Grounds
Fans Guide Book
Is Out Now. Order 
Your Signed 
Copy Today!


Find Out More!

My New 2019/20
Football Grounds
Fans Guide Book
Is Out Now. Order 
Your Signed 
Copy Today!


Find Out More!

FACEBOOK

TWITTER