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Southend United Football Club is a professional association football club based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England. As of the 2021–22 season, the team competes in the National League, the fifth tier of English football. Southend are known as "The Shrimpers", a reference to the area's maritime industry included as one of the quarters on the club badge. The club is owned by property developer Ron Martin.
Founded on 19 May 1906 in the Blue Boar pub, Southend won the Southern League Second Division in both of their two initial seasons and were admitted into the Football League in 1920. They spent the next 44 years in the third tier of English football, before dropping into the Fourth Division in 1966. They spent the next 24 years moving between the third and fourth tiers, winning promotions in 1971–72, 1977–78, 1980–81 (as champions), 1986–87 and 1989–90. They were promoted into the Second Division for the first time at the end of the 1990–91 season. After six seasons in the second tier they suffered a double relegation in 1997 and 1998. Under the stewardship of Steve Tilson, Southend again secured a double promotion in 2004–05 and 2005–06 to win a place in the Championship as League One champions. However this time they only lasted one season in the second tier and were relegated back to League Two in 2010. They secured promotion as play-off winners in 2015, but suffered two successive relegations in 2020 and 2021, amidst financial problems. After 101 years in the Football League, the club were relegated to the National League in the 2020–21 season.
The club is based at Roots Hall Stadium in Prittlewell, with plans to move to a new stadium at Fossetts Farm. Southend have a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Colchester United, with whom they contest the Essex derby.
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