Harding dedicates goal to his late mum

DAN Harding dedicated his winning goal for Southend to his mum who passed away early this month.

Derek Davis

DAN Harding dedicated his winning goal for Southend to his mum who passed away early this month.

The Ipswich Town defender is on loan to the Shrimpers and fired in the winner against Leeds United on Tuesday, but his thoughts turned immediately to his mum who died in the south coast after suffering from cancer.

Harding said: “My mum recently passed away and that was for her. The gaffer, the players and the backroom staff at the club have been superb in supporting me and I want to thank them for that as they have helped me through a difficult period.”

Harding is so happy at Roots Hall after an unhappy final few months at Portman Road he is hoping the loan spell at Southend can be turned into something more permanent.

His goal against his former club Leeds came after hours of dead ball drills on the training ground.

Most Read

Harding said: “Myself, Simon Francis and a few others practise them after training most days and that's paid off now.

“It was great to see it go in and it was very sweet that it was the winner because we really wanted the three points.

“It was great for me too because Leeds are my old side and I was getting some stick from their fans early on so it was the perfect way to keep them quiet.”

Harding also performed well defensively on his return to the team from a three match suspension as Southend bounced back from losing 4-2 at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The loanee was quick to praise his team-mates and insisted Blues were worthy winners.

“We played really well and it was great to be out there again,” said Harding.

“It had been frustrating not playing but that's part and parcel of football and you have to be able to deal with these things.”

The win moves the Shrimpers up to seventh in the League One standings and they face Essex rivals Colchester United tomorrow.