A BID for Southend United’s head coach to be given the Freedom of the City has received unanimous support from councillors who stated “no-one can deny his heroics”.

Kevin Maher, the current Southend United boss, was nominated by Southend West MP, Anna Firth, to be handed the Freedom of the City earlier this month.

Freedom of the City is an honour awarded to an individual who have lived or worked in the city, and who is proud to be a part of the city’s history.

During a general purposes committee meeting by Southend Council on Monday night, the bid was backed and will now move to full council on December 14.

If agreed, there will be a formal ceremony which is planned for spring next year.

Tony Cox, Conservative leader of Southend Council, said: “This is a proposal that is support by all the group leaders and I am more than delighted to add my name to that.

“I think Kevin’s record speaks for itself. Ten years of service and no one can really deny the absolute heroics that he has performed over the last couple of years.

“I know it is a slight deviation of what we would normally have as Freedom of the City, but I think this is actually a positive step that we recognise everybody for what they do for the city, regardless in what form or capacity.

“I think for me, it is another welcome addition to the two that we have, following Sir David Amess and Sir David Stanley. I am delighted to support it.”

Mr Maher has been associated with Southend United since 1998 after he joined from Tottenham Hotspur.

He spent ten years playing for the club where he made more than 420 appearances and captained the Blues to promotion twice.

Mr Maher later became head coach of Southend in October 2021, where despite, a transfer embargo, repeated issues with players and staff not being paid, and High Court hearings, his team continued to perform on the pitch.

Robert McMullan, Liberal Democrat councillor responsible for Eastwood Park ward, added: “He is incredibly regarded amongst the supporters, and I noticed recently that a number of clubs have been interest in his service.

“But he has remained loyal to Southend, which I think is great credit to him and tells you that the work he is doing there. So, I absolutely support this nomination.”