ANDY Wilkins shares his favourite non-league memories as a Canvey Island fan and the press officer of Southend Manor.

For me, despite currently running things down at Southend Manor in the Essex Senior League, I still find the days I spent watching and following Canvey Island between 2014 and 2017 hard to ever quite replicate or forget.

I had many good days both home and away during those days, including a trip to Farnborough where we won 6-2, which was unbelievable.

There were some trips, including two down to Bognor Regis Town that involved 5-0 defeats which were still great in their own way.

That said, I dealt with a 3-1 defeat at Lewes on the week I failed my mock exams and despite the result, the trip was brilliant and ended my week in a bittersweet way.

A special shout-out is also required for the three trips made to Needham Market between 2015 and 2017, which were lovely and well missed now I find.

It is a club that I’ve looked out for most dearly since my first visit, which was a 2-0 win in the FA Trophy campaign of the 2015/16 season.

That said, I find it quite poignant that my first away game ever was a trip to Leiston in Suffolk in April 2015. More poignant by the fact it was the same day as my parents’ wedding anniversary.

Not many people can brag they sat with the chairman on the coach to and from the game on their first away day, yet I can.

John Batch remains a gentleman in football and was great company that day for me, just a 15-year-old lad who was still at school back then.

Leiston for an away day was simply brilliant and the first of many for me.

Canvey drew 1-1 and the second half equaliser scored made us in the away stand go wild. I ended up with a sore throat and a thumping headache from all of the noise we made but it was somewhat worth it.

My furthest away days in the Essex Senior League are barely a trip to Mile End in East London and they hardly are a scratch on the mileage I once did round the M25 and beyond following Canvey all those years ago on a regular basis in cars, trains and coaches.

I was once fined £20 at Waterloo for apparently having the wrong train ticket back in 2016 after seeing Canvey lose 3-1 to Kingstonian in what was their final game ever at Kingsmeadow. Despite the result, it was a great day just before Christmas if there ever was one I can admit to.

I’ve been lucky to see Canvey on a few occasions this season at Park Lane through postponed Manor games but, for me, none of the games I’ve been to this season wherever have replicated those old glorious days I once lived through nor will they ever I think.

I do hope those once glorious days will once more come in and take its place in my life but I think as I’ve got older, my optimism has slowly faded for them days in fairness.

That said, if my highlight of this season had to be decided, I’d call it as Manor’s 1-0 victory over Clapton in November, which eased off some pain from us all following a few tough months of bad results. The lads played great, the celebrations were fantastic to be involved in and that is my favourite result this season.

If and when football returns, it shall be interesting to see how things flow for both Canvey and Manor.