NOT too many Southend United fans would have been happy to be in attendance for the Shrimpers’ 2-1 defeat against Shrewsbury Town - but Phillip Riley certainly was.

Phillip grew up as a keen Blues fan before moving to Australia in 1991.

And he was therefore thrilled to be back at Roots Hall alongside son Kristian and his friend Jake.

“I used to go to every home game and some of the away games with my uncle as well so it’s always special to come back and see a match, especially with my son,” said Phillip, who now lives on the Gold Coast.

“The last time I was here was about five years ago and I really enjoyed being back.

“It’s always special for me but it was just a shame the result didn’t go the right way.”

Phillip attended the game during his four week spell back in Essex for Christmas.

And the trip brought back several good memories.

“It’s nice being back here and I also got to play at Roots Hall when I was a kid with Wakering Colts as well so memories of that day always come flooding back to me too,” said Phillip.

“It was a great day and I need to say a really big thank you for what Michelle Coombes at the club did for as well because it was great and made it all more enjoyable.

“I’ve managed to get my son into Southend as well as my two daughters, who are back home.

“They all like to follow what’s going on and hopefully the results will soon start to improve so we can get back up the table.”