SOUTHEND United defender John White was relieved his rare foray into the Shrimpers’ spotlight ended in fine style against Sunderland.

The centre-back volleyed Blues in front during a dramatic encounter with the Black Cats before giving away a penalty which Chris Maguire converted to seemingly condemn Kevin Bond’s side to relegation.

But Stephen Humphrys struck late on to secure the Shrimpers a 2-1 win which made sure of their League One status.

And White - who then also played the final few minutes with a broken arm - was delighted to finish an eventful afternoon on a high.

“I think I must have gone through every emotion possible during the game but I was just so relieved when we got the winner late on like that,” said the 32-year-old.

“My family normally joke with me that I go under the radar. I just go on to the pitch, play the game and go home.

“But I seemed to be involved in a lot on Saturday, which isn’t really like me.”

White first took centre stage when he netted with a hooked volley back over his head just before the break.

But the defender initially did not know he had scored.

“The defender was so close to me that I couldn’t really see behind me so I didn’t know what had happened,” said White.

“I wasn’t sure whether someone else had got a touch on it but it wasn’t really until the lads all came over to me that I realised I had scored.

“It was a nice feeling but it all happened in slow motion really because I didn’t think the ball was ever going to come down to me and that was the only way I could hit it.”

White’s goal kept the Shrimpers in front until 15 minutes from time when White’s challenge on Charlie Wyke resulted in Maguire scoring from the spot.

But White, who was not punished for an earlier challenge, did not agree with the decision.

“I thought the one he didn’t give was more of a penalty and for the one he has given I’ve slipped,” said the defender.

“It was horrible though because then I’m thinking we might be going down because of a penalty I’ve given away.

“But we kept on going and I was just so happy and so relieved when we got the goal to win us the game.”

However, the drama did not end there for White who suffered a broken wrist in the closing stages and played more than 10 minutes with the injury.

“I’ve had to watch it back because I had no idea how it happened,” said White.

“I took a whack to the head and was a bit shaken but then I noticed the pain in my wrist and told Ben Clarkson he would need to wrap it up really tight for it to work.

“I remember the players all telling me we had to see out the last few minutes and the adrenaline got me through really.

“I didn’t know it was broken but I just had to get on with it and it’s actually hurt more in the days since than it did on the day.”

But White - whose contract is up this summer - was still able to help the Shrimpers cling on for victory before enjoying the lengthy celebrations at the final whistle.

“It was another day I’m never going to forget,” said the defender, who skippered Blues to League Two play-off glory at Wembley back in 2015.

“I was with my little boy while everything was going on and it was really special sharing that moment with him.

“It was great to see all the fans on the pitch celebrating like that and it was certainly a very memorable day.”

The dramatic victory ensured Blues stayed up on goal difference.

But White was always confident the final day of the season would go the Shrimpers’ way as they battled to beat the drop.

“I had a feeling it would go well because it would have been my nan’s birthday on Friday and I knew she would be looking over us,” said White.

“I didn’t expect to score if I’m being entirely honest but I did fancy us to get the win and it was a great way to make sure we stayed up.”