RYAN Leonard still relishes his role in Southend United’s play-off win at Wembley but does not remember too much about it.

Leonard celebrated his 23rd birthday the day after the Shrimpers’ play-off success against Wycombe Wanderers.

And that made for a memorable few days for the midfielder who was voted Blues’ player of the decade earlier this year.

“It was my birthday the day after and it was a messy couple of days, “ laughed Leonard.

“I don’t remember anything for about two days after the final to be honest.

“I couldn’t join in with any of the celebrations after the game because Daniel Bentley and I got taken away by the drug testers.

“You have to do these things but we missed out on the initial celebrations in the dressing room, although I think I probably made up for it for the next couple of days!”

Leonard won three player of the year awards in the space of four seasons for the Shrimpers.

And he again played a key role during the entire 2014/15 season which culminated in Blues’ Wembley win which still delights Leonard.

“The whole play off run was brilliant and so was Wembley,” said Leonard.

“It was a brilliant couple of weeks and it was topped off by getting promoted.

“To go up the way we did was incredible.

“It probably wasn’t a classic game for the neutral but Wycombe were a good side and it was a tight game.

“They had a decent side but the squad we had was brilliant.

“Pigs (Joe Pigott) will forever be a legend with the Southend fans after that goal and it was great to be a part of.”

Pigott’s late goal led to Blues winning on penalties.

But Leonard was more prepared than most to take a spot-kick.

“I was on penalties if we got one during the game and we should definitely have got one because Barry Corr was fouled,” said Leonard.

“I lived with Barry at the time and he was so gutted when he missed the penalty we got against Stevenage in the semi-final.

“We went out after the semi-final and he was gutted even then.

“He was buzzing we got through but he was a bit down personally at the same time.

“He didn’t want to take one in the final and that showed he’s a true person.

“He wasn’t in a position to take one and that’s fair enough.

“You would rather someone did that then take one when not being comfortable.

“I just smashed a few in in training and Phil Brown told me I was on them.”

And Leonard showed just why he had been selected when he thundered home his spot-kick during the shoot-out.

But the midfielder remembers little of his penalty.

“I don’t actually remember taking the penalty,” said Leonard.

“I remember talking to my family afterwards and they asked how it felt but you just glaze over and try to get through it.

“You’re just praying you score really and a lot of it can come down to luck.

“We did practise for them but it’s useless really because it’s completely different on the day.

“You’re just focusing on trying to get a clean connection and that the keeper doesn’t go the right way.

“Thankfully for most of us it paid off.”