SOUTHEND United manager Phil Brown believes Michael Kightly is his biggest signing yet as Shrimpers boss.

The former Burnley winger has signed a three year deal at Roots Hall.

But the deal was only completed after Millwall failed in a late bid to land the winger.

“It was really nice to kill off Millwall at the 11th hour,” said Brown.

“They came in at 5.15pm last night and he signed about 5.30pm.

“It’s certainly a significant signing and I enjoyed a class of champagne last night.

“This is a real statement of intent bringing in another former Premier League player.

“I’ve been here four years now and I’ve made some big signings but this takes us to the next level.”

And Brown believes the deal has also boosted the Shrimpers squad.

“I went to meet the players at the airport and the first five or six off the plane all asked if Kightly had signed,” said the 58-year-old.

“I believe season ticket sales are up and there’s a real buzz about the place since we signed him.”