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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ipswich Town 0 Burnley 0

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Town’s first game under the ownership of Marcus Evans, the Billionaire’s takeover having been rubber stamped earlier this week at an extraordinary share holders meeting. For the moment it certainly puts the club back on an even keel and places it in a far better position financially that it has been since sliding into administration some four years ago.

Club takeovers seem to be two-a-penny these days and the one at Portman Road barely got a mention in the national press. But the coverage it did get makes for some interesting reading...

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 20,077.

Match Number: 1410

Addendum (January 9, 2008)...

posted by chevblue at 8:06 pm 0 comments

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Revisited: Old Trafford in the 1970’s

Saturday, August 15, 1970
Manchester United 0 Leeds United 1
Division One
Old Trafford, Manchester

Old TraffordAs a pre-pubescent spotty school boy still in shorts I don’t remember a huge amount about this game. We were holidaying for a fortnight in Derbyshire at the time and drove through the Peak District and over the Pennines to watch this game. A spur of the moment family decision.

It was a pretty pleasant summer’s day I recall, the pitched looked immaculate (as they always do first game of the season), and the picket fence that surrounded the pitch at the time gleamed white it the sun. A big crowd too of just under 60,000. We stood in the corner of the ground now occupied by away supporters. Almost forty years ago this end of the Theatre of Dreams was an uncovered terrace at the opposite end of the ground to the awesome Stretford End. I seem to remember a large clock at the back of the terrace not that dissimilar to the old clock that stood, in the Clock End, at Highbury for many a year. Leeds centre-forward Mick Jones scored the winner, a looping header from just inside the area.

By the time of my next visit the picket fence would be gone to be replaced by an ugly steel monstrosity to combat crowd disorder...

Saturday, January 26, 1974
Manchester United 0 Ipswich Town 1
FA Cup 4th Round
Old Trafford, Manchester

Four years on and it’s safe to say that for the visiting fan there was a bit of an edge to any trip to Manchester United. Fan violence had kicked-off big time in the early ’70s and United’s supporters had been busy honing their hooligan skills the length and breadth of England, and Salford, to lead the way. Old Trafford really tested the nerves and sphincter muscles in those days. Leaving our seats to head for the coach at the end of this game – having knocked the Red’s out of the FA Cup - was not a pleasant experience. I’ll leave Brum comedian Jasper Carrott, in one of his classic stand-up routines, to explain what I mean by that in a bit more detail...

MP3 | Play Jasper Carrott - The Football Match (1977)

If Town ever win at Old Trafford again (we used to win there quite regularly you know) I doubt they will have a much easier victory that this. Ahead through an eighth minute Kevin Beattie goal, the Town defence – marshalled by Allan Hunter - were rarely troubled and the Blue’s may well have scored a second but for Allan Holton’s goal line clearance from a Peter Morris header. A great result for us, but a pretty dismal game in front of a poor - by United’s standards - crowd of 37,177.

Saturday, November 18, 1978
Manchester United 2 Ipswich Town 0
Division One
Old Trafford, Manchester

Fast forward another four years...

A mate at the time had become pally with a number of Ipswich first teamer’s and somehow we ended up driving Russell Osman’s shiny new Triumph Toledo, Stag or Dolomite (one of the three) up to Manchester for the centre back so he could use it for some post match function or other. Had overdrive, a fifth gear and everything! The Town and England man had a moderately impressive in car music cassette collection including Fleetwood Mac’s hugely successful album Rumours which I listened to in its entirety for the very first time as we journeyed north. Although it had been released a good year or so earlier. Funny the things you remember. And by the way – and in case you were getting worried - we had a prearranged lift with a mate back to Suffolk after the game.

‘Keeper Gary Bailey made his debut in this game. Ironically his father Roy, had tended goal for Ipswich when they had won the League Championship under Alf Ramsey’s stewardship in 1962. Gary, who was born in Ipswich, had almost signed for Town a few years earlier but it hadn’t worked out. This game was the first of 373 appearances that he would make for the Red Devils.

posted by chevblue at 12:28 pm 0 comments

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ipswich Town 3 Scunthorpe United 2

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Scunthorpe took League Two by storm last season setting a club record of 16 games undefeated as they claimed the title a full six points clear of second place Bristol City. However, after a moderate start in the Championship they have since struggled, and indeed came into today’s game on the back of a nine game winless streak. While Ipswich have an equally unenviable away record – not a single away victory all season - they can do little wrong at home of late and after today’s win have now gone 15 matches without defeat at Fortress Portman Road – 14 or those games ending in victories.

The visitors started brightly and took the lead after sixteen minutes through Martin Paterson. Town quickly levelled (Pablo Counago 18’), and then took the lead (Owen Gavan 21’) before being pegged back by a second from the Iron’s number 10. And all of this in the first thirty three minutes. Now I’m not entirely sure of the exact nature of the half-time team talk but it was probably something along the lines of “let’s settle for a draw lad’s”. So the fluency and threat the visitors had showed up front in the first period (aided by some comedy defending from the Ipswich backline) evaporated to be replaced by forty-five minutes of spoiling tactics. Chief amongst the offenders was ‘keeper Joe Murphy. The ball goes out for a goal kick on one side of the goal and the ‘keeper walks the ball to the other side of the six-yard box to take the kick. Players feign injury, etc., etc. You know the sort of thing. But eventually the Blue’s found a way through, Tommy Miller hitting a free-kick low and hard into the bottom corner of Murphy’s net. Oddly for the remaining seven minutes the Dubliner was a bit more anxious to get the ball back into play.

Match Number: 1409

posted by chevblue at 11:01 pm 0 comments

Lifetime Achievement award for Sir Bobby

Sir Bobby with Gary Lineker

Last Sunday night Sir Bobby Robson was presented with a Lifetime Achievement trophy at the BBC 2007 Sports Personality of the Year awards. The former Town, Fulham, Newcastle, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and England manager was presented with the award in front of an 8,000 strong audience at the NEC Arena, Birmingham, an audience that included many former Town greats among them Allan Hunter, George Burley, Mick Mills, Terry Butcher, Roger Osborne and Russell Osman.

Sir Bobby will always hold a special place in the hearts of fan's who had the privilege of watching the Town side that he built between 1969 and 1982. When he arrived we may have been a top flight team but we were a Third Division club in terms of facilities. When he left to manage the national side in 1982 we were up there competing with the best of them. The ground and facilities had been transformed in those thirteen years and we could boast of, arguably, the best side in the country. One man was responsible for this - Bobby Robson.

It was not easy for him in Suffolk and the first few years must have been agony. He found himself at odds with some of the senior players but the board backed him, so he converted some of the rebels and replaced others. Supporters, too, were baying for his blood. Many would have failed but he proved to be a fighter and the supporters will always be in debt to him.

Congratulations Sir Bobby.

posted by chevblue at 10:58 pm 0 comments

Blueprint for success

Ipswich Town

The blueprint above is from 1976 and shows the north-east corner of Portman Road as it would have looked at the time, Planet Blue, the club shop, occupying that particular spot now. A friend acquired a full set of ground drawings from somewhere earlier in the year and sent me the scan you see above as a bit of taster although I’ve yet to see the rest of the drawing from which it was taken. It’s interesting to see the breakdown of the grounds capacity which is over 6,000 above it’s present capacity of 30,311 all-seated. This corner of the ground is also the spot from which I watched my first ever Town game but more on that some other time.

posted by chevblue at 9:21 pm 0 comments

Friday, December 14, 2007

Revisited: Brighton & Hove Albion (Goldstone Ground)

Saturday, September 15, 1979
Brighton & Hove Albion 2 Ipswich Town 0
Division One
Goldstone Ground, Hove, Sussex

Tuesday, November 11, 1980
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Ipswich Town 0
Division One
Goldstone Ground, Hove, Sussex

Goldstone Ground

It’s over ten years since the Goldstone Ground was demolished to make way for a retail park (a Toys R ‘Us of all things) and a good few years further back in time since I was last there. Twice during the early 80’s I visited the ramshackle ground once sitting behind a goal in the South Stand and once along the touchline in a temporary extension to the West Stand. This had been erected in ‘78 to keep pace with the Seagulls growing attendances following promotion to England’s top flight.

Goldstone Ground

What struck me on both visits was the huge banked terrace on the east side of the ground that must have held the majority of spectators when the ground was full. A Burger King sits there now! While sorting through some material for Extreme Groundhopping’s sister site I came across the above pictures of that very same and very full terrace taken in April 1959 when Brighton took on Ipswich in a Division Two game.

More on the Goldstone Ground here.

posted by chevblue at 11:17 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ipswich Town 3 Leicester City 1

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 17,938.

Match Number: 1408

posted by chevblue at 11:55 pm 0 comments

The loneliest job in football?

Ipswich Town

The loneliest job in football? Tonight’s picture – which dates from the 1980’s – shows a cameraman hovering over the Churchmans Stand, Portman Road during one of BBC MOTD’s (relatively) frequent visits to Suffolk during that era.

posted by chevblue at 10:58 pm 1 comments

Monday, December 10, 2007

Crap Football Songs

No 1: AZ alfabet: van A tot Z …. AZ! By Double X (1981)

AZ alfabet

AZ Alkmaar wrote themselves into the history books a couple of weeks back when a 1-0 victory over Greek side Larissa meant they’d gone a record 32 European home games unbeaten, breaking the record of 31 set by Ipswich between 1962 and 2002. Ironically, the pinnacle of Town’s European success came in 1981 in a two-legged UEFA Cup Final win over the very same AZ – then known as AZ ’67.

Neither Town nor Alkmaar have EVER lost a home match in Europe, and while Manchester United went 56 games unbeaten at Old Trafford from 1956, their unbeaten run ended in 1996.

AZ alfabet

Town didn’t record a song to celebrate their only European Final appearance to date but AZ did with this (slighty) catchy number by the Dutch comic duo Gerard Rasch & Ben Sierhuis better known as Double XX. And just to show that’s there’s no hard feelings at the Dutch breaking our record here’s the song in its entirety...

MP3 | Play AZ alfabet: van A tot Z …. AZ! By Double X

posted by chevblue at 8:33 pm 2 comments

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Revisited: Shrewsbury Town (Gay Meadow)

Saturday, January 24, 1981
Shrewsbury Town 0 Ipswich Town 0
FA Cup 4th Round
Gay Meadow, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Gay Meadow

Gay Meadow was the home of Shrewsbury Town for almost a century until its sale to property developers and the club’s move to a new stadium (The New Meadow) for the start of the current League Two season. The 8,000 capacity played host to it’s final competitive fixture back in mid-May in a League Two play-off semi-final first leg game against the MK Dons. Sitting adjacent to the River Severn and overlooked by the historic town centre Gay Meadow was perhaps the most attractive League ground in the country but by no stretch of the imagination the most comfortable.

An injury to Town right-back George Burley in this game ended his season and put a huge dent in Town’s bid for a treble of FA Cup, League & UEFA Cup. It ended all square at 0-0 on the day with Ipswich progressing to round 5 with a 3-0 win three days later in the replay, and eventually on to the semi’s and an extra-time defeat by Manchester City.

The picture above shows the visiting fans in fine voice as they sung “You’ll never walk alone” which was pretty much a standard on the terraces at the time but is now limited to the fan’s of Liverpool.

posted by chevblue at 9:15 pm 0 comments

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Revisited: Fenner's

Tuesday, December 12, 1978
Cambridge University 12 All Blacks 32
Tour Match
Fenner’s, Gresham Road, Cambridge


Having a bit of sort out today of the ExtremeGroundhopping Family Achives (aka boxes of crap that have sat in a corner of the loft for the last 16 years) and came across these pictures of what remains my one and only ever visit to a live rugger game. By all accounts I was lucky to get a ticket for the visit of the All Blacks to the Fenner’s ground in Cambridge which was absolutely heaving (note the many spectators perched on top of buildings over looking the far touchline). Don’t remember much about the occasion at all (apart from the fact that all the Cambridge players wore different coloured socks – the colours of their respective colleges apparently) and certainly not the outcome which a quick hunt around the net just a few minutes ago revealed as a 32-12 win for the New Zealander’s. More pictures here.

posted by chevblue at 2:02 pm 0 comments

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Ipswich Town 0 Barnsley 0

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 19,540.

Match Number: 1407

posted by chevblue at 10:53 pm 0 comments

Getting the cat down

Ipswich Town

This evening’s picture features the Suffolk Fire Service rescuing a moggy from a window ledge at the back of the Britannia Stand sometime, I think, in the early 90's.

posted by chevblue at 7:16 pm 0 comments

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Ground Visit Record


AFC Bournemouth
(Fitness First Stadium)

AFC Portchester
(Wicor Recreation Ground)

AFC Sudbury
(King's Marsh Stadium)

AFC Totton
(Testwood Park)

Aldershot Town
(Recreation Ground)

Alton Town
(Alton (Bass) Sports Ground)



Aston Villa
(Villa Park)



Basildon United
(Gardiners Close)

Billericay Town
(New Lodge)

Birmingham City
(St Andrews)

Blackburn Rovers
(Ewood Park)

(Bloomfield Road)

Bolton Wanderers
(Reebok Stadium)

Bolton Wanderers
(Burnden Park)

Boston United
(York Street)

Bradford City
(Valley Parade)

Braintree Town
(Cressing Road)

Brantham Athletic
(Brantham Athletic Sports & Social Club)

(Griffin Park)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Withdean Stadium)

Brighton & Hove Albion
(Goldstone Ground)

Bristol City
(Ashton Gate)

Bristol Rovers

(Hayes Lane)

(Turf Moor)

(Gigg Lane)

Bury Town
(Ram Meadow)

Cambridge City
(Milton Road)

Cambridge United
(Abbey Stadium)

Charlton Athletic
(The Valley)

Chelmsford City
(New Writtle Street)

Chelmsford City
(Chelmsford Sport & Athletics Centre)

(Stamford Bridge)

Chester City
(Saunders Honda Stadium)

Colchester United
(Layer Road)

Cornard United
(Blackhouse Lane)

Coventry City
(Ricoh Arena)

Coventry City
(Highfield Road)

Crewe Alexandra
(Gresty Road)

Crystal Palace
(Selhurst Park)

Dagenham & Redbridge
(Victoria Road)

(Watling Street)

Debenham Leisure Centre

Derby County
(Pride Park)

Derby County
(Baseball Ground)

Diss Town
(Brewers Green Lane)

(Sparshatts Stadium)

Ely City
(Unwin Ground)

(Goodison Park)

Fareham Town
(Cams Alders)

FC Clacton
(Rush Green Bowl)

FC Fleetlands
(Lederle Lane)

Felixstowe & Walton United
(Dellwood Avenue)

Framlingham Town
(Sports Ground)

(Craven Cottage)


(Emerald Park)

Gosport Borough
(Privett Park)

Great Yarmouth Town
(Wellesley Recreation Ground)

Grimsby Town
(Blundell Park)

Hadleigh United

Halstead Town
(Rosemary Lane)

Hamble ASSC
(Follands Park)

Harwich & Parkeston
(Royal Oak)

Havant & Waterlooville
(West Leigh Park)

Heybridge Swifts
(Scraley Road)

(Glass World Stadium)

Horndean Town
(Five Heads Park)

Huddersfield Town
(Leeds Road)

Hull City
(KC Stadium)

Hull City
(Boothferry Park)

Ipswich Town
(Portman Road)

Ipswich Wanderers
(SEH Sports Ground )


Leeds United
(Elland Road)

Leicester City
(Walkers Stadium)

Leicester City
(Filbert Street)

(Victory Road)

Leyton Orient
(Brisbane Road)

Lincoln City
(Cincil Bank)


Long Melford

Lowestoft Town
(Crown Meadows)

Luton Town
(Kenilworth Road)

Manchester City
(Maine Road)

Manchester United
(Old Trafford)

(Ayresome Park)

(The New Den)

(The Den)

MK Dons
(National Hockey Stadium)

MK Dons

Needham Market

Netley Central Sports
(Station Road Recreation Ground)

Newcastle United
(St James' Park)

Newmarket Town
(Cricket Field Road)

Northampton Town
(County Ground)

Norwich City
(Carrow Road)

Nottingham Forest
(City Ground)

Notts County
(Meadow Lane)

Peterborough United
(London Road)

Petersfield Town
(Love Lane)

Plymouth Argyle
(Home Park)

Port Vale
(Vale Park)

(Fratton Park)

Preston North End

Queens Park Rangers
(Loftus Road)

(Madejski Stadium)

(Oakside Stadium)

Romsey Town
(Bypass Ground)

Rotherham United

Saffron Walden Town
(Catons Lane)

Salisbury City
(Raymond McEnhill Stadium)

Scunthorpe United
(Glanford Park)

Sheffield United
(Bramall Lane)

Sheffield Wednesday

Shrewsbury Town
(Gay Meadow)

Shrewsbury Town
(Prostar Stadium)

Soham Town Rangers
(Julius Martin Lane)

(St Mary's)

(The Dell)

Southend United
(Roots Hall)

St Albans City
(Clarence Park)

Stanway Rovers
(New Farm Road)

Stockport County
(Edgeley Park)

Stoke City
(Britannia Stadium)

Stoke City
(Victoria Ground)

Stowmarket Town
(Green Meadows Stadium)

(Stadium of Light)

Swaffham Town
(Shoemakers Lane)

Swindon Town
(County Ground)

Thetford Town
(Mundford Road)

Tiptree United
(Chapel Road)

Tottenham Hotspurs
(White Hart Lane)

United Services Portsmouth
(Victory Stadium)

(Vosper Thornycroft Sports Ground)

(Bescot Stadium)

(Fellows Park)

Walsham Le Willows
(Walsham Sports Club Ground)

(Vicarage Road)

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

West Bromwich Albion
(The Hawthorns)

West Ham United
(Upton Park)

Whitton United
(King George V Playing Field )

Wigan Athletic
(JJB Stadium)

(Plough Lane)

Winchester City
(Denplan City Ground)

Witham Town
(Spa Road)

Wivenhoe Town
(Broad Lane)

(Kingfield Stadium)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Woodbrige Town
(Notcutts Park)

Worcester City
(St. Georges Lane)


Cardiff City
(Ninian Park)


(Pittodrie Stadium)

Heart of Midlothian
(Tynecastle Stadium)


Northern Spirit
(North Sydney Oval)


SW Wacker Innsbruck
(Tivoli Stadion)


RSC Anderlect
(Constant Vanden Stock Stadium)

FC Brugge

SV Zulte-Waregem


FC Kobenhavn
(Gladsaxe Stadion)

Helsingor IF
(Helsingor Stadion)


FC Flora
(Lillekula Stadium)


HJK Helsinki
(Finnair Stadium)

(Hietalahti Stadium)

Tampere United
(Tammelan Stadium)


(G.Guichard Stadium)


1. FC Koeln
(Mungersdorfer Stadion)

Borussia Dortmund
(Westfalenstadion )

1. FC Union Berlin
(Stadion An der Alten Försterei)


AZ Alkmaar
(Alkmaarder Hout)

AZ Alkmaar
(Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam)

FC Dordrecht
(GN Bouw Stadion)

FC Groningen

FC Utrecht
(Galgenwaard Stadion)

(De Kuip)

NEC Nijmegen
(Goffert Stadium)

PEC Zwolle

PSV Eindhoven
(Philips Stadion)

SC Heerenveen
(Abe Lenstra Stadium)

Twente Enschede
(Arke Stadion)

Twente Enschede
(Diekman Stadion)

Vitesse Arnhem

Willem II
(Willem II Stadion)


Bray Wanderers
(Carlisle Grounds)

Dublin City
(Tolka Park)


Inter Milan
(San Siro)


Avenir Beggen
(Stade Josy-Barthel)


Skeid Oslo


Widzew Lodz
(Stadion LKS)


(Nou Camp)

Real Madrid
(San Bernabeu)

(Luis Casanova)


Orgryte IS
(Gamla Ullevi (Old))

Helsingborgs IF
(Olympia Stadium)

Landskrona Bois

Malmo FF
(Malmo Stadion)

Mjallby AIF

Trelleborgs FF

IFK Goteborg


Chicago Sting
(Comiskey Park I)

Chicago Sting
(Wrigley Field)

Chicago Sting
(Chicago Stadium)

Chicago Sting
(Rosemont Horizon)

Chicago Sting
(Rockford MetroCenter)

Chicago Vultures

Milwaukee Bavarians
(Bavarian Center)

Schwaben AC
(Schwaben Center)

Tampa Bay Rowdies
(Tampa Bay Stadium)