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Daily reporter wins football journalism ‘Oscar’ for coverage

A regional daily journalist has won a national award for his coverage of an extinction-threatened football club.

Chris Phillips has been presented with the Best in Non-League – Editorial award at this year’s Football Content Awards.

Chris, pictured, has covered Southend United for South Essex daily The Echo for 20 years.

His prize comes after United faced a winding up order for an unpaid £275,000 HMRC bill and other debts.

Chris Phillips 2023

Chris was first to break the news of the consortium leading the race to buy United and has attended every High Court hearing involving the troubled club – netting exclusives along the way.

Said Chris: “I was shocked to be nominated and even more shocked to win. It still feels quite surreal, but I’m really pleased.

“As a supporter and reporter, it’s been tough at times over the last few months and years. It’s been all encompassing really, especially when it really looked like Blues wouldn’t be able to start the season.”

Chris was presented with his honour at the awards, dubbed ‘The Oscars of the Football Content Industry’, during a ceremony at Liverpool FC’s Anfield home last month.

Echo editor Michael Adkins said: “The love and passion Chris has for Southend United, its fans, players, backroom staff, and the manager is clear for all to see.

“His knowledge is unrivalled in football reporting circles and this year his content has driven large, loyal audiences online. He’s had as many stories published in the news pages and on the fronts as he’s had on the back and inside sport pages.

“He can turn his hand from covering the Blues next match to writing an informative and exclusive package about the latest takeover news at a moment’s notice.

“This award is acknowledgement of his exceptional work and the Blues’ extraordinary fight for survival.”