I realised this week that my family and I first landed in Southampton exactly 50 years ago, and they have been 50 very happy years. 

Lots of changes have happened all around me, and so much of that is in football, on and off the pitch. So many things are different.

When I first arrived, it was to take over from local legend Ted Bates. Then also began my affiliation with the local paper, which is, in my opinion, one of the best local papers around. 

We would have regular phone calls and since I have been away from the club, I have still always loved it, and have cherished happy memories.

My connection with the Echo has changed from day-to-day calls when involved at the club to a weekly column, although I still go to games in the company of local business legend Patrick Trant. 

We usually get there an hour and a half before kick-off to catch up with friends, but once the whistle blows I can hardly identify the players on the pitch these days!

I don't have as much contact with the game or its managers anymore. I was a founding member of the League Managers Association but now I probably couldn't name them all! 

I think now is the time to blow the final whistle on the column, and I would like to thank all of the reporters and editors who have helped me over the years. 

They have put my words together into readable columns! I also want to thank the many supporters who have, over the years, contacted me having read the things I have said. 

I look forward to all of the games still hoping, like all other Saints supporters, that the club can get promoted back to the top level. 

Looking back, I remember the many players who have been and gone, and I wonder if it might be a good suggestion for the Echo to ask supporters to send in their favourite teams and players. 

Whilst the Echo is lining up the next individual to do the column, I want to say thanks again to the pleasant journalists and editors who rang me to put my comments together. 

I will be interested to see in the Echo how many supporters take up my suggestion and send in their favourite players in this last 50-year period. 

In my mind, I have got plenty of teams with legends such as Alan Ball, Mick Channon, Kevin Keegan and many more.

There are local lads like Franny Benali, Matt Le Tissier and Nick Holmes, who did not cost the club anything but were wanted by many others.

They stayed loyal to their hometown clubs, although Le Tissier was from the Channel Islands originally, and were the beginning of a golden era for our youth system. 

Of course, I will always remember the vital contribution of Bobby Stokes, who scored the winner in the FA Cup final in 1976, and all the squad, some of whom still live locally. 

Perhaps that is the happiest memory of all. 

A few of my staff, Lew Chatterley, Dave Merrington and Ian Branfoot still have a keen interest in Saints and we will meet up again soon to reminisce!

Also of course good friends such as the late Leon Crouch and Bob Terris, have been great supporters of the club and myself.

You will all have your own favourite players and teams, and I look forward to reading your suggestions and memories. 

Thank you to everybody for your support over the years. 

Yours sincerely, and God bless you all,

Lawrie McMenemy. 

Up the Saints.