A LIFELONG 100-year-old Southend United fan who missed out on playing for his beloved team has had his wish to watch a match at Roots Hall granted.

Ernie Crump has been supporting The Blues since he was a young boy, with his whole family also following in his footsteps.

Echo: Smiles - Ernie returns to Roots HallSmiles - Ernie returns to Roots Hall (Image: Newsquest)

The 100-year-old was also a player himself, representing Great Wakering. Ernie also had trials at Southend United but sadly as the war broke out, he went to fight for his country.

Ernie continued going to watch Southend United throughout his whole life but hasn’t been able to go for more than five years due to having dementia and issues with his mobility.

But, with the help of the Shrimpers Trust, Ernie and his whole family were given a box at the game on Monday against Boreham Wood at Roots Hall.

Echo: Memories - Ernie with his family at the gameMemories - Ernie with his family at the game (Image: Newsquest)

His daughter, Jo Joscelyn, 60, said: “Dad absolutely loved it.

“He has been a fan his whole life and was able to experience the game with the whole family including his grandson and great grandson.

“I was worried how it would be for him, but the Shrimpers Trust did him proud.

“He really enjoyed it and really enjoyed the fuss.

“We always used to go. I was a daddy’s girl and loved football. I am so glad we were able to do it again.

“It was so much to be able to create a memory with the whole family.

“It was a big result too. The whole box just erupted. He had his arms up too; he knew that they scored, and it was just amazing.”

Southend United beat Boreham Wood 4-2 at Roots Hall on Easter Monday, taking the Shrimpers to 10th in the table.

The wish was granted by the Shrimpers Trust as part of their community and inclusion project.

Ernie also got to meet former Southend United player Frankie Banks, and despite his dementia, Jo said Ernie’s face lit up as Frankie walked in.

Echo: Happy - Ernie with former Southend United player Frankie BanksHappy - Ernie with former Southend United player Frankie Banks (Image: Newsquest)

Jo added: “It is absolutely amazing what the Shrimpers Trust has done for us and him. They have given us this wonderful opportunity and memory.

“It is emotional thinking about it.

“Southend United is just such a major thing for us as a family. All of our family go because of dad.”