BLUES head coach Kevin Maher has been nominated for the Freedom of the City of Southend to recognise his valiant effort to keep the club on track during “crippling off-field issues” that he has been grappling with since his appointment. 

Mr Maher has been in charge of Southend United since October 2021, after making 455 appearances and captaining the club in his playing days, and he has become a fan-favourite over the last two years keeping the club afloat on the field while coping with off-field issues.

 Despite a transfer embargo, repeated issues with players and staff not being paid, and repeated High Court hearings, Mr Maher’s hard-work and dedication has been a glimmer of hope for loyal fans. 

Now, the sale of the club from chairman Ron Martin to a new consortium is nearing completion, and Mr Maher has received constant praise throughout. 

Southend West MP Anna Firth has always been full of praise for Mr Maher and has been working on a nomination for “Freedom of the City” for some time. 

Now, the nomination has been received by the council and Tony Cox, Southend Council leader, is confident the whole council will support the nomination. 


Mr Maher said: “I’m incredibly grateful and humbled to be nominated for such an honour and would like to thank Anna Firth and the Southend Council. 

“I am so proud to represent the staff, players and supporters of Southend United FC, without whom this wouldn’t be possible.


Upon making the nomination, Ms Firth said: “I can think of few people in Southend who deserve this award more than Kevin Maher.

“He has been an inspiration to the entire fanbase throughout one of the darkest periods in the club’s history.

“His commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to Southend United throughout the years is unmatched. 

“Whilst the clubs off field issues have been well documented, the constancy and dedication of Kevin Maher have been a shining light through the darkness. 

“Despite the chaos around him, not only was Kevin a unifying force for both the players and fans, he has inspired some of the most outstanding performances on the pitch.

Eastwood resident David Posnack, 50, and a Shrimpers fan for 35 years, said: “It’s really well deserved.

Echo: Proud - Darren PosnackProud - Darren Posnack (Image: Darren Posnack)

“It’s been a tricky time for the club, with the takeover deal, but with everything he has had to deal with, it’s put him at the top of the list.

“He has done an amazing job at Southend.

“Huge congratulations, Kevin. You’re incredible.”