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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ipswich Town 0 Plymouth Argyle 0

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 20,095.

Match Number: 1416

posted by chevblue at 7:03 pm 0 comments

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Soham Town Rangers 1 Walsham Le Willows 0

Ridgeons League Premier Division
Julius Martin Lane, Soham, Cambridgeshire

Soham Town Rangers

Just to the south of Soham town centre is the Fordham Road Cemetery, which for reasons that I will explain shortly was my first stopping off point during my visit to the Cambridgeshire town this afternoon. It transpires that a famous namesake of mine was laid to rest here in 1932 (stay with me here because there is a somewhat tenuous football link to this part of my report).

Soham Town RangersThe Reverend William Case Morris was born in Soham in 1864, but made his name many thousand of miles away in South America, or more specifically Argentina. Following the death of his mother, his father and four-year-old William moved first to Paraguay and then onto Argentina in search of a new life.

William was so taken aback by the child poverty they witnessed on the streets of Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital that he ended up dedicating his life to helping the streets kids that he saw. The homes he helped found survive to this day and as national hero of the South America republic his name lives on too with railway stations and football stadiums named in his honour.

Soham Town Rangers

The purchase of a match programme for £1 proved to be a wise one as it is full of no end of interesting info. For one, Soham Town Rangers' Julius Martin Lane ground is just a few yards away from Mere Side, a road that runs along the edge of what, during Saxon times, was possibly the largest fresh water lake in England. Soham was a thriving seaport during that era and indeed the town’s name translates as “homestead by the sea” in medieval speak. Of course the whole area has long since been drained to form what are now known as the Fens.

Soham Town RangersThe programme also reveals that the team are enjoying their 60th anniversary season and that the club have the celebrated Mr. Vinnie Jones as their President. The former Wimbledon and Wales hard man turned Hollywood hard man is apparently a regular visitor to these parts having first involved himself in the area’s affairs when he sent a letter of condolence to the parents of murdered Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002.

The derailed locomotive pictured on the cover of the programme is from another of the town’s fateful days. During World War II Soham became known as “The Town That Shouldn’t Be There” following the explosion of a train carrying munitions through the town in June 1944. A fire started in a lead wagon but the bravery of four railwaymen meant that the train had been moved clear of the town centre proper before it exploded. There was still extensive damage to local property, however, and sadly two of the four men died.

Soham Town Rangers

Right, football...

Soham were in second place in the Ridgeons Premier Division coming into the game and ended it as League leaders. Albeit having played two more games than their rivals for the title, Needham Market, who were not in action today. All three points were clinched as early as the third minute when the visitor’s keeper failed to deal with a cross and punched the ball into his own net. Both sides had a number of chances to increase the scoreline and Walsham should have equalised in the second period but missed a penalty and with it a chance to claim a point.

Reverend William Case Morris 1864-1932This was an enjoyable game. Generally speaking I think the standard of football in this league has improved substantially since the promotion two years ago of AFC Sudbury and Bury Town to the Ryman League. It’s certainly made it more open since the duopoly moved up a tier.

Vital statistics: Admission 5 pounds, programme 1 pound, cup of tea 50 pence, attendance 135.

Match Number: 1415

posted by chevblue at 8:15 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ipswich Town Youths 3 Watford Youths 1

Ipswich TownFA Youth Cup 4th Round
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Vital statistics: Admission free, no programme but team sheet free, attendance 1,205.

Match Number: 1414

posted by chevblue at 11:01 pm 0 comments

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Come on you Hawks!

West Leigh Park

No real surprise that the FA Cup 3rd Round replay between Havant & Waterlooville and Swansea City is a 4,400 sell-out and I wish the Hawks all the best for this coming Wednesday’s tie. Shame my tour of duty in Hampshire ended last summer as I'm sure I would have managed to weasel a ticket from somewhere and would be headed out to West Leigh Park myself.

West Leigh Park

If it’s your first time at the ground either in support of said Hawks or to cheer on the Jacks here’s a couple of panorama’s to give you an idea of what the Blue Square South sides gaff is like (click on either of the two images for the full view).

posted by chevblue at 12:43 am 0 comments

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ipswich Town 1 Stoke City 1

Coca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Ipswich Town

Last week, before the Pompey FA Cup game, the hallowed turf was covered, presumably to protect it from frost. Yesterday it was covered again, presumably to keep the rain off. A friend took a couple of photos, one of which is shown above - shows a different side of Portman Road.

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 20,346.

Match Number: 1413

posted by chevblue at 8:50 pm 0 comments

Friday, January 11, 2008

Riot At The Den

Saturday, March 11th, 1978
Millwall 1 Ipswich Town 6
FA Cup 6th Round
The Den, Cold Blow Lane, London

Riot At The Den

En route to the 1978 FA Cup Final Town thrashed Millwall 6-1 at The Den. It was the largest away win in the FA Cup 6th Round since Manchester City had beaten Orient by the same scoreline fifty-two years earlier. Although three of Town’s goals came in the dying minutes of the game this was not a flattering scoreline, this was Bobby Robson’s men at their very best. Sadly events on the field overshadowed those on it as Millwall fans literally ran riot. Coaches carrying Blue’s fans to Cold Blow Lane were ambushed prior to the game, Town fan’s in a seated area of the ground were subjected to a hail of concrete and glass missiles (I was standing in the opposite corner of the ground looking on in disbelief - this was scary stuff), and when George Burley’s thunderbolt strike put Town ahead after just 10 minutes the fighting took to the field...MORE

posted by chevblue at 10:04 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam

Wednesday, May 20th, 1981
AZ ’67 Alkmaar 4 Ipswich Town 2 (Ipswich won 5-4 on aggregate)
UEFA Cup Final 2nd Leg
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam

Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam

In 2001, to mark the 20th anniversary of Town’s historic UEFA Cup win in Amsterdam, photographer and Ipswich fan Julian Germain (some of whose works are catalogued here) put together an article for a Dutch football magazine called ‘Johan’ (presumably after a certain Mr. Cruyff). I’ve never seen a copy of the article, but I understand it included a four double page spread on two of the best players ever to have donned the blue-and-white of Ipswich – the Dutch pair Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen – who were instrumental in a 5-4 aggregate win in the two-legged final and indeed of getting Ipswich there in the first place

Julian borrowed the pictures that you see above and here for, I’m led to believe, inclusion in that article (he had originally discovered the photos over on our big brother site). It took him a while to return the originals, some time the following year I seem to recall, by which time I’d lost interest and I never did get around to asking whether the snaps were included in the article or not. Perhaps someone out there has a copy of the May 2001 issue of said magazine and could let me know.

posted by chevblue at 8:39 pm 0 comments

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Ipswich Town 0 Portsmouth 1

Ipswich TownFA Cup 3rd Round
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

Today’s cup-tie between Ipswich (unbeaten at home for close to a year) and Portsmouth (almost invincible away from Fratton Park) should have been a great, evenly balanced game. But, following the dismissal of Liam Trotter after 24 minutes, what we got instead was an inevitable victory by the visiting Premiership side (three great saves by David James not withstanding).

Trotter’s tackle on Pedro Mendes was a foul – no question. It certainly warranted a talking too by the referee - Mark Halsey had kept up with play and was within a few yards of the incident - and perhaps a yellow card. But, after a twenty/thirty second delay after he had obviously received instructions from the fourth official via his earpiece, and to every ones amazement, Halsey showed the young Ipswich born midfielder red.

How much of that was as a result of Portsmouth coach Joe Jordan leaping up and down on the touchline screaming for a dismissal or because of Mendes play acting – he rolled over twice, after Trotter made contact, holding his leg – we will never know.

Vital statistics: Admission 20 pounds, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 23,446.

Match Number: 1412

posted by chevblue at 9:19 pm 0 comments

Friday, January 04, 2008

Football Statues

No 7 (in a series of several): Bobby Moore (1941-1993)

Bobby Moore

This bronze statue of the late Bobby Moore was erected outside the main entrance to the new Wembley Stadium in May 2007. The former England, West Ham and Fulham defender is of course most famous for his role as captain of the victorious 1966 World Cup side. In addition to this statue the tunnel between Wembley Park underground station and Wembley Way is named in honour of Moore and, as you would expect for a man who made almost 550 league appearances for the Hammer’s, there is a plaque and bust at the Boleyn Ground in his honour. A further statue featuring Moore - with the Jules Rimet trophy - being held aloft by Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, and with Ray Wilson looking on, sits a few yards away from the main entrance to the Boleyn Ground on Barking Road.

Picture taken prior to the first FA Cup Final at the New Wembley on Saturday May 19th, 2007.

More football statues here.

posted by chevblue at 11:02 pm 1 comments

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Northern Spirit FC

Friday, January 15th, 1999
Northern Spirit 4 Marconi Fairfield 0
National Soccer League
North Sydney Oval, Sydney, New South Wales

Tueday, January 26th, 1999
Northern Spirit 1 Perth Glory 0
National Soccer League
North Sydney Oval, Sydney, New South Wales

Northern Spirit FCIn early 1999, and at great expense to my then employers, I was dispatched not once but twice down under for tours of the companies offices in the Antipodes. I spent six weeks in total split 50/50 between Sydney in Oz and Auckland in New Zealand’s North Island. Some pretty memorable places were visited, and great experiences were had, during time off and if I’d bothered to take a camera with me (quite unbelievably I didn’t) I’d probably bore you now with loads of pictures of wonderfully exotic places.

As it is you’ll have to make do with scans of two match programme covers, both from games played – and attended by yours truly – by the now defunct Northern Spirit at the North Sydney Oval. This was the Spirit’s second year in the National Soccer League having come into existence in 1998 partly as a result of the success enjoyed by the opposition in the second of those two matches – Perth Glory.

Until the late 1990’s most Aussie clubs owed their existence to support from immigrant communities in Australia’s main population centres, Sydney Olympic with its links to the Greek community in New South Wales being one example. But the Perth club had successfully tapped into a growing interest in Soccer from mainstream sports fan’s down under and the Northern Spirit’s owner’s hoped to do likewise.

Northern Spirit FCAnd for a while it worked. On the back of a great first season, in which they reached the play-off’s, the side regularly enjoyed crowds of 15 – 16,000 and set a national record attendance of 18,985 for a regular season game, a record that stood until 2005.

However, the club never bettered its debut season, league positions faltered in subsequent years, and with dwindling crowds came dwindling revenues and the Spirit eventually folded in 2004. Perhaps the final nail in the coffin was a brief period of ownership by SPL side Glasgow Rangers.

Attending a game of football at the North Sydney Oval is somewhat akin to watching a match on a village green. Albeit with stands on two sides. The NS Oval, as it’s name suggests, is traditionally a cricket venue – although rugby, Australian Rules football, and American Football have all been played there – first seeing leather-on-willow action back in 1867.

Overhung at it’s northern end by fig trees and with a large grass bank along the south to south-east boundary for picnicker’s the 20,000 capacity venue is a real gem. Getting there from central Sydney is no chore either with travel by train or road both taking you over the awesome Sydney Harbour Bridge which offer’s equally awesome views out over the harbour itself to the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Next time I’ll most certainly take a camera.

posted by chevblue at 7:24 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ipswich Town 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

Ipswich TownCoca-Cola Championship
Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk

An 11th home win of the season for Ipswich sealed in some style by goals from defender David Wright and captain Jason De Vos. West Bromwich, who led the table at the start of play, enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges, but the Blue’s gradually took control of the game and thoroughly deserved the win. We had to wait until the 75th minute for a breakthrough however, Wright bursting forward to head home Liam Trotter’s cross, and a second header, this time from De Vos, settled matters six minutes from time. Town’s current run of home league games without defeat now stands at an impressive 17, but there’s still some way to go to match the run of 33 games, set between October 1979 and March 1981.

Vital statistics: Admission by season ticket, match programme 3 pounds, attendance 24,000.

Match Number: 1411

posted by chevblue at 9:27 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)