Here's here, he's there: Two cup legends returned to the Hall

It was a great idea by the Shrimpers Trust to get two Blue legends to talk before the Luton cup-tie last Saturday.

Like many of my generation I believed Billy Best could walk on water and it was great to read posts about that time on the various forums. (Billy though was my second player of the year as he joined after my first season, my vote in 1967 went to.....Eddie May!)

Yes, they were both generous with tickets and, yes again, lifts were offered back from mid-week matches. After a 3-1 defeat at Grimsby on a cold Tuesday night in 1972, Arthur Rowley himself asked if I would like to go back with the team.

Let me think; tempature below zero, no more trains home, go back with the players. Yeh, allright.

Stopping in some god-forsaken place on the way back a chinese was found open where Gary Moore kindly offered me a vinegar sodden chip! Thanks Gary.

I couldn't find a report, Brentwood Town don't even exist in that form anymore, but didn't want this particular anniversary, there's been a few lately, to pass without a TLG mention, heroes both to this twelve year old at the time.

So a final word on what they actually did, a pinched article from the Echo, and some player data before we move on, or back, to that 1913 Cup tie v Chelsea. Yes, DoDtS has come up trumps again!

Both Billy and Gary scored hat-tricks in the First and Second Rounds of the F.A. Cup in the 1968/69 Season with the first pair coming against Kings Lynn on 16th November 1968 as the Shrimpers won 9-0. Billy and Gary netted three goals each on that occasion, and followed that up on Saturday 7th December 1968 in a 10-1 demolition of Brentwood Town. This time Billy Best scored five, including what was then the fastest recorded hat-trick, and Gary Moore four.

Former Shrimpers stars Billy Best and Gary Moore were both delighted to be back at Roots Hall on Saturday to see the current side enjoy another FA Cup victory. The duo scored consecutive hat-tricks in the first and second round of the competition against Kings Lynn and Brentwood during the 1968/69 season and that remains a record.

They were therefore greeted warmly by the fans again at the weekend and Best, now 65 and living in Northampton, who scored 123 goals in 247 games for Southend between 1968 and 1973.

Billy was honoured to be invited: "It's always great to come back here. People must be sick of the sight of me by now but it's great and it was even better that Southend won. They made hard work of it and should've scored more goals. But for me they deserved to go through because they were the only team who tried to win the game."

And 63-year-old Moore, who played 181 times for Blues between 1968 and 1974, was just as thrilled to return to Roots Hall: "It's the first time I've been back since I left. It's still a great little ground and it was great to see them win. I have wonderful memories from my time here and I'm always looking out for their results."

(Article edited from the Southend Evening Echo, Monday December 1, 2008)

From the SUFC Database

Sat 16-Nov-1968 Kings Lynn
HomeFAC190Best(3) MooreG(3) Chisnall(2) Haskins(og) 9983
Sat 7-Dec-1968 BrentwoodHomeFAC2101Best(5) MooreG(4) McMillan 13107

Billy Best
January 1968 to September 1973
Billy BestPosition:Forward
Birthday:7th September 1943
Born:Glasgow
Size:5ft 7in - 10st 7lb
SUFC debut:
Comments:One of the finest players of all time
Honours:
Author: 1972 Club handbook Updated: 28 Jun 2005
Born in the Scottish village of Mount Ellen in Lanarkshire, and first played as a junior for Lochend Rovers before moving on to Pollock. He was only 18 when he signed as a professional for Northampton where he stayed long enough to see them promoted from the Third to Second to the First Division and back again to the Third. Now with Southend he is one of the few players to have played in all four divisions of the Football League. And has scored many hat-tricks for us but who will ever forget the one he scored at Peterborough between the 13th and 18th minutes a few seasons back, or the one at Reading last season. He holds the record for the quickest five goals scored in succession, against Brentwood in the F.A. Cup. He was presented with a trophy to mark 100 League Goals for Southend recently.

Hobbies: fishing and school coaching.
Southend UnitedPlayedGoals

L'gue

FAC

LCup

Other

Total

L'gue

FAC

LCup

Other

Total
Jan-68 to Sep-73225+11290246+11061520123
TOTALS225+11290246+11061520123
TeamJoinedFeeNotes
Northampton Town
Southend UnitedJan-1968
Northampton TownSep-1973

Gary Moore
November 1968 to August 1974
Gary MoorePosition:Forward
Birthday:4th November 1945
Born:Sunderland
Size:6ft 2in - 12st 11lb
SUFC debut:
Comments:
Honours:
Author: 1972 Club handbook Updated: 28 Jun 2005
Gary was born in the small Durham mining village of South Hetton and gained school representative honours with Sunderland Boys and Durham County Boys, he then signed for Sunderland as an amateur when he was still 15. At 16 he played for the England Youth Team and became a full time professional at 17. After six seasons at Roker Park, Gary was transferred to Grimsby, where he notched up 15 goals in an 18 months stay. When he arrived at Roots Hall, he was yet another in the long line of North-countrymen to move to Southend in an effort to find fame and fortune with United. Over the years he has given great service to Southend, both as a goal scorer and in midfield.

Hobbies are: golf, gardening and reading.
Southend UnitedPlayedGoals

L'gue

FAC

LCup

Other

Total

L'gue

FAC

LCup

Other

Total
Nov-68 to Aug-74156+87+190172+94672055
TOTALS156+87+190172+94672055
TeamJoinedFeeNotes
Grimsby Town
Southend UnitedNov-1968
Chester CityAug-1974