MARTIN Trenaman is well known for his roles in Phoneshop and the Inbetweeners.

But his love for Southend United is less of a laughing matter.

Trenaman, who grew up in Southend, has followed the Shrimpers through thick and thin since a young age.

And he still remains a keen Blues supporter.

“My dad wasn’t much of a sports fan but my uncle Jack took me over to Roots Hall when I was about 14,” recalled Trenaman.

“I got really hooked for that season when Derek Spence was playing but I lapsed a bit after that.

“I really started going in the late 80s and early 90s.

“Brett Angell was playing, Ian Benjamin, Andy Ansah, Paul Sansome it was that kind of era.

“I went to every home game for a good five years and had a few away games too.

“I moved to London in 1997 because I was doing stand up and I didn’t get to quite as many games after that but I follow every game and still go whenever is possible.”

In more recent seasons, watching the Shrimpers has been far from a pleasurable experience and the club currently find themselves in the National League fighting to avoid a third successive relegation.

But Trenaman can remember happier times at Roots Hall.

“I have a number of memories and one that really stands out for me, like it would for many Shrimpers, is Stan Collymore’s debut,” said Trenaman.

“I went with some mates and I’d read it in the Echo the night before that he’d signed.

“I remember thinking who on earth is called Stan nowadays, is he 75?

“But if my memory serves me right he had been on the pitch for about five minutes and the West Stand I was in just went silent, because we watched him on the ball and just thought oh my god, he’s amazing.

“He took the micky in that division really.”

Collymore remains the best player Trenaman has seen play for the Shrimpers but he recalls another striker with great fondness.

“I was a big fan of Brett Angell,” said Trenaman.

“He wasn’t the most skilful of players but he was always in the right place at the right time and scored with every part of his body I think.

“I don’t remember him getting many outside the six yard box but whenever he was around there was a chance of a goal.

“Sadly we don’t have that now but I certainly don’t want to slag anybody off.”

Trenaman was born in Glasgow but moved to Southend at the age of seven before leaving for London in the late 1990s.

But he can remember more than just the football.

“My first ever job was on the ghost train at the end of Southend Pier,” said Trenaman.

“I used to go the Grand drinking and the Crooked Billet in Old Leigh when I got a bit older.

“As a kid I used to go the Kursaal and all over the place really.”

And it was also those local links that helped Trenaman to carve out his own career in comedy.

I knew Lee Evans, he lived in Leigh on Sea and he used to go to the Joker Comedy Club I was connected with,” said Trenaman.

“I did some writing with Lee while I was still working in London but I gave up work and started to do stand-up.

“My first ever gig was at Churchills in Southend and I won £5.

“I got home and Lee rang me about midnight which was great because he was already getting quite successful.”

And the duo continued to stay in contact after that.

“Years later I was doing the Edinburgh Festival and Lee showed up,” explained Trenaman.

“He was huge by then and we spoke after the show.

“He asked if I wanted to write for his tour.

“He wrote most of it but there were some sketches in the show and he suggested I was the other guy in the show doing them.

“We did a few of them and then he asked me if I fancied doing the show in the West End.

“My first proper acting role was a 10 week run doing that.

“Through that I got an acting agent and almost overnight I was going to castings thinking, hang on a minute am I an actor now? It almost happened by mistake really.”

Trenaman has now worked in a number of roles and is currently enjoying his latest offering, Bravo Two Charlies, which has a pilot show available on BBC iPlayer.

“We’ve done three series for the radio on BBC Wales and this is a taster TV pilot,” said Trenaman.

“It worked on the radio and now they want to see if it can transfer to television so they’ve given us this 11 minute taster.

“It’s set in deepest north Wales and it’s policing but not as we know it in the show.

“It’s been a tricky ask because it’s a short piece and you have to show the characters and the stories in the slightly tilted world they’re in.

“It seems to be very well received and hopefully we’ll get a full series.”

But Trenaman is hoping for far less drama with Blues.

“I’ll be down as soon as possible for a game and I’ll bring my son who is a Southend fan too,” he said.

“I just hope things start to improve.”

Watch Martin's new show here