Southend United named former Colchester United boss Steve Wignall as their new manager on April 18th 2003.

Wignall replaced Rob Newman who was sacked three weeks previously.

After taking over at Roots Hall Wignall signal his delight and excitement at the opportunity, saying: "I'm absolutely buzzing at the moment. I came close to getting the job before and am delighted to get the chance.

"I've spoken to the board and we think along the same lines. This club has massive potential and I feel we can go a long way.

"Southend have been in the First Division before so getting back there has to be the ultimate aim," said Wignall.

He beat off competition from Steve Thompson, Don Mackay and Stewart Robson, who had been in temporary charge.

Wignall's career at Roots Hall got of to a flying start as Southend claimed a 3-0 victory over play-off chasing Torquay at Roots Hall.

He enjoyed four good years at Colchester between 1995-99. After two top ten finishes in Division Three Wignall finally won promotion in 1998 (pictured celebrating). A slow start to their next campaign saw Wignall leave The U's after 208 games in the hot-seat at Layer Road.

Wignall hoped to draw on his experience at Colchester with Southend but he was not given long to use it as he was sacked in November the following season after 17 games, with the club lying third bottom of the Football League.

A promising start to the campaign with a 2-0 home win over Cheltenham was soon forgotten as Wignall's side claimed just twelve points from their next 16 matches.

Despite a long-awaited victory over Macclesfield near the end of October, Steve was dismissed two days after a 1-0 home defeat to Northampton, with David Webb, twice Southend manager, returning to the helm on a caretaker basis.

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