MICHAEL Timlin is likely to be best remembered at Southend United for the bravery he showed in Blues’ promotion via the League Two play-offs back in 2015.

Timlin was forced to have 15 stitches following a sickening clash of heads with Stevenage centre-back Bira Dembélé during the first leg of the semi-final.

But, just four days later, the midfielder took to the pitch wearing a protective skull cap and scored the Shrimpers’ final goal in a 3-1 win at Roots Hall.

Phil Brown’s side then went on to beat Wycombe Wanderers in the final at Wembley.

And those matches remain Timlin’s favourite in football.

“It’s my best memory in football to date,” recalled Timlin.

“We had lost out in the play-offs to Burton the year before and I missed out on the JPT final as well when I broke my leg in 2013.

“I thought my chances of getting to Wembley had gone.

“When we played against Stevenage and I got injured I thought right I’m not missing out on Wembley again.

“In many ways, I think that game showed what type of player I am because I’m willing to put my body on the line for the team.

“In truth, I could barely see out of my eye when we played Stevenage again but I ended up scoring a good goal when I don’t normally score good goals!”

Timlin curled home a fine 20 yard shot deep into extra time at Roots Hall.

And he was also keen to impress after hearing what Stevenage manager Graham Westley had told his team during the first leg.

“The other player carried on and at half-time I remember hearing their manager shouting about how they had showed their commitment because their player stayed on and I went off,” said Timlin.

“But I had the last laugh really as their player missed the next game and I played and scored to help us win.”

The goal also sealed Blues’ trip to Wembley and was watched all around the world, as Timlin later discovered himself.

“My cousin was in Sweden and he was telling me people were talking about it out there,” said Timlin.

“I was in LA that summer and a man asked if I had been in a car crash.

“I got talking to him and had to explain it was because of football, then soccer of course!

“I explained it was on television and he looked it up online.

“When he did he showed me just how many people had viewed it out there and it was crazy.

“It was great that so many people were talking about Southend and suddenly everyone wanted to interview me too.”

Blues’ memorable play-off final win added to the attention and again saw Timlin taking to the field in the headwear he purchased from a local sports shop.

“I just went and bought it from Sports Direct and I wish I still had it,” said Timlin.

“I got carried away at the end of the game and threw it into the crowd.

“I was probably hallucinating at times wearing it and in the final itself I remember one of their players trying to knee me in the head.

“To be fair he probably thought we were playing rugby looking like I was but it was a great day and the best way to get promoted.

“I just wish I had run towards Dan Bentley with all the other players after the penalty shoot out. I ran towards our fans and then wondered where everyone else was!”