FORMER Southend United midfielder Josh Wright has paid tribute to ex-Blues left-back Justin Edinburgh.

Edinburgh tragically passed away nine days ago, at the age of 49, after suffering a cardiac arrest.

But Wright had already agreed to make the move to Leyton Orient on a two-year deal and he is proud to have become Edinburgh’s last signing.

Wright, who suffered relegation from League One with Bradford City last term, said: “He will always be around for me and many other people involved with the football club and I’m proud of that, to be his last signing that he made.

“I was signing here of course for the club, Leyton Orient, but the icing on the cake was Justin being the manager - that was a big, big thing for me.

“I just want to make him proud out there now.”

Edinburgh, who was born in Basildon, began his playing career at Roots Hall before going onto win the FA Cup and League Cup with Tottenham Hotspur.

Following a spell at Portsmouth, Edinburgh hung up his boots while in charge of Billericay Town.

Edinburgh went onto enjoy success in management, having taken Newport County into the Football League and clinched the National League title with Orient in April.

And Wright, who also played for Edinburgh at Gillingham and invited him to his wedding last year, is keen to enjoy success at Brisbane Road in the former defender’s memory.

The 29-year-old, who enjoyed a year-long spell with the Shrimpers before being released in 2018, added: “The man’s an absolute legend and a hero of mine.

“Justin, to me, wasn’t just a gaffer, work colleague, manager or boss.

“He became a friend, someone I could trust, lean on and I’ll always remember and thank him and hold him in the highest regard.”