FREDDY Eastwood has been named Southend United’s player of the decade.

More than 1,000 Shrimpers fans contacted the Echo to cast their vote.

And it was the popular Eastwood who came out on top with 62 per cent of the nominations.

“I’m delighted to have won the award,” said Eastwood who bagged 65 goals in 135 games during a successful spell with Blues.

“I really enjoyed my time at the club and it’s a big thing that the fans have voted me player of the decade.

“I would like to thank them for picking me and I’m very proud to have won it.”

Long standing Southend skipper Kevin Maher came second in the vote, with former left-winger Mark Gower in third.

They - along with Eastwood - played a massive part in helping Blues win successive promotions in 2005 and 2006 which Eastwood recalls with great fondness.

“Getting promoted that day at Swansea was my favourite Southend moment but we had a great team and it’s no surprise how well we did,” said the 26-year-old.

“We won two promotions and were unfortunate not to stay up in the Championship because there were only a few points in it in the end.

Eastwood subsequently left Southend in June 2007 as he joined Wolverhampton Wander-ers in a £1.5million switch.

But he failed to hit top form while at Molineux and, after just one season, joined Coventry City.

Eastwood initially struggled there too but has now starting to impress once again and has netted seven times so far this season.

“I’m playing up front more these days which has helped me get onto the score-sheet,” said Eastwood.

“Prior to that I had been left or right wing or just behind the front two but now I’m being used more as a striker which is why I think I’m doing better.”

Eastwood now aims to maintain that form but is still keen to return to Roots Hall towards the end of his career when he hopes Blues will be in much better shape.

“It isn’t nice to see Southend struggling and I hope they stay up,” said Eastwood.

“I look out for the results every week and I know there are a few issues there but I do want to go back there one day. “Hopefully the club will be more stable by then.”

>Southend United’s players have still not been paid since December.

The Shrimpers had been told their were to receive their January pay packets on Monday.

But the squad are still owed their wages for both January and February.