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Friday, November 30, 2007

Football Statues

No 6 (in a series of several): Billy Bremner (1942-1997)

Billy Bremner

Billy Bremner played against Town on 18 occasions between 1968 and 1975, and more often than not ended on the winning side. This of course during a Don Revie inspired era in which Leeds United swept all before them. Almost.

Ipswich played out an epic FA Cup 6th round battle with Bremner, Norman ‘Bites yer legs’ Hunter, etc in 1975, a tie that went to three replays (two of them to extra time) before Town eventually emerged as victors. Sadly I only made the first match of four in this legendary encounter in which the diminutive Scot, flanked by Johnny Giles and Terry Yorath battled it out in midfield with Colin Viljoen, Brian Talbot and Bryan Hamilton.

Bremner, voted their club’s best all-time player by Leeds fan’s in 2000, won League Championship medals in ’69 and ’74, a UEFA Cup (then the Fairs Cup) medal in ’71 and an FA Cup medal in ‘72. But he and Leeds should arguably have won considerably more than that relatively small haul in an era in which they dominated the domestic scene.

Little Billy Bremner is the captain of the crew
For the sake of Leeds United he would break himself in two
His hair is red and fuzzy and his body's black and blue
But Leeds go marching on.

Picture taken prior to the Leeds v Ipswich Championship game on Saturday April 23rd, 2005.

posted by chevblue at 10:08 pm 0 comments

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Revisited: White Hart Lane

Saturday, December 9, 1978
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Ipswich Town 0
Football League Division One
White Hart Lane, London

Ian Dury

An otherwise bog standard match in many respects between Keith Burkinshaw’s Spurs, who just that summer had signed the Argentine World Cup Winning pair Osvaldo Ardilles and Ricardo Villa, while Bobby Robson’s Ipswich, now replete with Arnold Muhren, and having lifted the FA Cup the preceding May, were at the beginning of a four year odyssey that would see them narrowly miss out on the league title not once but twice and lift the UEFA Cup.

But it’s the not the game that was of importance on this day but a magical moment on the way to North London from Suffolk, courtesy of BBC Radio 1, in the form of Ian Dury and The Blockheads “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” and the first time I heard, what for me, was a defining song in the formation of musicals tastes that have stuck with me ever since. Honest. The single was first released on November 23, 1978 and was number 1 in the UK popular music charts by the Town started their defence of the FA Cup in January, 1979.

And why this odd trip down memory lane you may well ask? Well Mrs EG and I have just bagged a couple of tickets for the Ipswich leg of the The Blockheads 30th Anniversary Tour starring The Blockheads and Phill Jupitus, Jupitus deputising for the late Ian Dury in an evening I’m sure will be a bit special.

Hit me, hit me, hit me…

[Footnote: Midfielder John Pratt hit the winner for the Spurs]

posted by chevblue at 9:10 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ipswich Town 2 Southampton 0

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 19,791.

Match Number: 1406

posted by chevblue at 10:49 pm 0 comments

Wonderful fans

Ipswich Town

The above pictured is labelled “wonderful fan’s (iii)” in the picture archive on my laptop. It’s from the 1975-76 season and is probably from an away fixture in Belgium when Town, 3-0 up from the first leg of this UEFA Cup 2nd Round tie, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with a 4-0 reverse to FC Bruges. Sir Uncle Bobby was not best pleased.

posted by chevblue at 10:35 pm 0 comments

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ipswich Town 6 Bristol City 0

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 22,020.

Match Number: 1405

posted by chevblue at 10:46 pm 0 comments

Scrubbing the team coach!

Ipswich Town

From the archive tonight: players' extra duties circa 1990 - scrubbing the team coach! Wouldn’t get the over paid darlings doing this nowadays.

posted by chevblue at 6:44 pm 0 comments

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Norwich City

Norwich City 2 Ipswich Town 2
Coca-Cola Championship
Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk

Carrow Road March, 2004

In the bad old days rarely a week seemed to pass without reports of another train wrecked by football fans out for a Saturday afternoons sport. I have vague recollections of a story (can’t remember the team’s involved and certainly not the date, although it was probably late 70’s) of British Rail laying on a special train and the fan’s it was transporting smashing every single light bulb on board and then taking out most of the carriage windows. And this was just before the journey had really got under way. So on a cold January afternoon they had to spend the journey to and later the return home from the game in wrecked and windy rolling stock. Takes someone spectacularly stupid to do that.

 Norwich CityIn the past I have always travelled by road up the A140 through Norfolk to Carrow Road, Norwich for local derby’s but today chose to go by rail on one of a number of additional trains put on by One Railway to get Blue’s fan’s to and from the lunchtime kick-off. Heaving with Ipswich supporters obviously, and even stopping in Diss to pick up a few Norwich fans too. Bless ‘em. Journey both way’s passed off without incident I’m happy to report.

This was a pretty exciting game with Town charging into a two-goal lead in the first half and Norwich, with Glenn Roeder installed as their new manager earlier in the week, levelling things within fifteen minutes of the restart. Could have gone either way after that with both sides having some decent chances before Darren Huckerby was red carded in the dying minutes for a two-footed lunge. The third time in as many away matches that Ipswich have taken the lead (2-0 at Burnley and 1-0 at QPR) and failed to hold on for all three points.

Vital statistics: Admission 27 Pounds, match programme 3 pounds, attendance: 25,461.

Match Number: 1404

Footnote: Picture taken at the East Anglian derby on March 7, 2004 which ended in a 3-1 win for Norwich as they headed towards promotion to, and a brief stay in, the Premiership.

posted by chevblue at 7:03 pm 0 comments

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