FREDDY Eastwood will be given the chance to say farewell to Southend United in the club’s pre-season friendly against Ipswich Town.

The popular striker was released by the Shrimpers at the end of last season. But he has been invited back to play against the Tractor Boys on Tuesday July 29 at Roots Hall.

And the 30-year-old cannot wait to figure in the game.

“I was delighted to be offered the opportunity because I didn’t really have the chance to say goodbye at the end of the season,” said Eastwood who enjoyed two separate spells with Southend.

“We all hoped it would be at Wembley but that proved not to be the case so I’m really happy at the prospect of appearing at Roots Hall one final time for Southend United.

“The only time I thought I would be back at Roots Hall from now on was to watch, so it’s great to know I’ll be playing on the pitch again.”

Eastwood scored a combined total of 75 goals in 210 games and enjoyed tremendous success in his first stint with the Shrimpers.

The striker fired Blues to two successive promotions to get in to the Championship and also bagged a memorable free-kick to help Southend beat Manchester United in the League Cup.

That made Eastwood a firm favourite with the supporters and he is now looking forward to playing in front of the fans one last time.

“The fans have been brilliant to me throughout both my spells with the club, so it’s a great opportunity for me to say thank you for their support,” said Eastwood.

“I’m sure it’ll be an emotional day for myself, but it is one I’m really looking forward to being a part of.”

The clash will also see Eastwood coming up against Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy who signed the striker from Southend, back in 2007, when he was in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“Mick was the one who took me away from Roots Hall first time round and I really enjoyed working with him,” said Eastwood.

“We got on well so it will be nice to see him again.”