GOLFER Matt Southgate is gunning for glory at The Open this week -but Southend United’s struggles will not be far from his mind.

Southgate has made a solid start at Royal Liverpool and is one under par after his first two rounds.

But the 34-year-old has not forgotten about his hometown football club and is taking part in The Open with a ‘Martin Out’ badge on his hat.

Echo: Showing his support - Matt SouthgateShowing his support - Matt Southgate (Image: Submitted)

The Shrimpers are continuing to fight for their future with the controversial Ron Martin as chairman and Southgate is among those worrying about the club's future.

"It's been an extremely anxious wait for everyone who supports Southend United over the past number of months," said Southgate.

"I think this season has shown that no matter how much the team may struggle on the pitch in comparison to days gone by all the people and the fans want is Southend United to stay in existence.

"Having travelled to Notts County last year for the midweek league game I was astonished at the support we all gave the gaffer and the players.

"The solidarity shown towards the gaffer and the players was exceptional and we all deserve to have Southend United in our lives.

"I really hope a successful sale of the club is accomplished as soon as possible so we can all come together at 'The Hall' and continue to support the club we all love."

Southgate - who is chairman of Leigh Ramblers - has been paying close attention to the latest news from Roots Hall.

And he opted to wear a Martin out badge on his hat after not being able to make the protests.

"I've been keeping a very close on all the speculation and news when I've been away playing in my tournaments and having not been able to attend the protests I decided to wear the 'Martin Out' badge alongside my Leigh Ramblers logo on the sleeve of my golf shirts to show my support for local football," said Southgate.

"To be playing this week with both those logos on show at the world's biggest golf tournament and competing with the best players is a great honour.

"I hope all the Southend fans are as behind me as I am them.

"I hope they cheer me on this weekend and I hope we have many more nights cheering on the Shrimpers together!

"I'm Southend til I die, I know I am, I'm sure I am.

Southend supporters protested outside the house of Martin for 14 hours Saturday and will be holding further demonstrations tomorrow.