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Ipswich Town F.C.

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Template:Football club infobox Ipswich Town F.C. is the professional football club of Ipswich, in East Anglia, England. It is popularly known as the Tractor Boys because of Ipswich's agricultural history, the Blues for the colour of their jerseys, or Town for short. Ipswich won the League in the 1961/62 under the management of Sir Alf Ramsey, and the FA Cup in 1978 with Bobby Robson at the helm. It also won the UEFA Cup in 1981, defeating Dutch team AZ Alkmaar 5-4 on aggregate in a two-legged final.

More recently, Ipswich have experienced the highs and lows of relegation from and promotion to the Premiership under manager George Burley, finishing 5th in the Premier league, and qualifying for the UEFA Cup, where they beat Inter Milan at home, but lost the tie over two legs after a 4-1 defeat in Italy. Next season, however, the club's fortunes changed, being relegated to the first division (now the Football League Championship). They had the minor consolation of again qualifying for the UEFA Cup, this time via UEFA's Fair Play route, and became the first lower-level team to survive two ties in the same UEFA Cup (losing in the second round proper). The loss of income due to relegation led to the club going into administration, and it eventually finished 7th in the league. The 2003/2004 season saw the club come out of administration and continue to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League. They eventually finished fifth in Division One and qualified for the season ending play-offs. Unfortunately, West Ham United defeated the Blues 2-1 on aggregate to qualify for the play-off final in Cardiff. Once again in the 2004/05 season Ipswich were drawn in the play-offs against West Ham, and once again were defeated. Despite fighting back from 2-0 down in the first leg to draw 2-2 at Upton Park, they lost 0-2 in the return leg at Portman Road, continuing their unenviable record in the end of season lottery.

Ipswich Town's current manager is Joe Royle. Their traditional rival is Norwich City.

Contents

Managers since 1960

The Alf Ramsey era

Ipswich Town won promotion to the First Division for the first time in its history on winning the Second Division Championship at the end of the 1960-61 season (it had entered the league in the Third Division South in the 1938-39 season) under Alf Ramsey. Ipswich's first top division season was an enormous success, it won the First Division Championship and qualified for the European Cup at the end of an excellent 1961-62 season. But Alf Ramsey quit the club soon afterwards to take charge of the England team and his 1966 World Cup success would gain himself a knighthood and a place in the book of footballing greats. After Ramsey took the England job in 1963 he was replaced at Ipswich By Jackie Milburn.

The Jackie Milburn era

Under Jackie Milburn Ipswich's fortunes on the pitch plummeted. It slipped down to the Second Division in 1964 (just two years after winning the league title) after conceding a top division record of 121 league goals in just 42 games. Milburn quit after just one season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964.

The Bill McGarry era

The club remained in the Second Division for four years until Bill McGarry finally guided Ipswich to promotion in the 1967-68 season. McGarry quit to manage Wolves and in January 1969 was replaced by Bobby Robson.

The Bobby Robson era

It took a while for Bobby Robson to estabilsh himself at Ipswich. His first two seasons were a case of staying up. From finishing 18th and 19th (from 22) in his first two seasons he then managed to push up the table finishing 13th in 1972, and in 1973 Ipswich finished 4th, qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time, won the Texaco Cup and secured the FA Youth Cup. Until 1978 Ipswich became a regular in the top five and in the UEFA Cup, again winning the youth cup in 1975.

Bobby Robson gained Ipswich Town's first F.A Cup success in 1978 with a victory over Arsenal at Wembley Stadium, and more success came with a UEFA Cup victory in 1981 and runners-up finish in the league in 1981 and 1982. Key players of this era included Frans Thijsen, Arnold Mürhen, Kevin Beattie and John Wark. Robson left Ipswich in the summer of 1982 to take charge of the England team and was replaced by his assistant Bobby Ferguson.

The Bobby Ferguson era

Bobby Ferguson did not make a good transition from coach to manager, combined with financial restraints following a new stand being built could only manage to finish mid-table for a couple of seasons, then spend a season struggling followed by a relegation a year later. He resigned a year later after losing to Charlton Athletic in the old second division playoffs.

The John Duncan era

From 1986 to 1990, Ipswich Town were managed by John Duncan and gained themselves a reputation as a competent Second Division side, but they never really looked like gaining promotion. For a club with such a proud history, the Ipswich Town directors decided that the team's form under John Duncan had been unsatisfactory and he was sacked at the end of the 1989-90. He was replaced by John Lyall, whose 14-year reign as West Ham United manager had ended the previous summer - during that time the Hammers had won 2 F.A Cups and finished third in the league.

The John Lyall era

John Lyall guided Ipswich to a mid table finish in the 1990-91 Second Division campaign but the following season saw them crowned champions of the Second Division and gain promotion to the new Premier League, ready for the 1992-93 season.

Defender John Wark had returned to Ipswich after a spell at Middlesbrough, while Ipswich's key players included the ever reliable Mick Stockwell (who played in every position other than goalkeeper), Canadian international duo goalkeeper Craig Forrest and full back Frank Yallop, Welsh international midfielder Geraint Williams and Bulgarian striker Bontcho Guentchev as well as talented youngsters such as Jason Dozzell and Chris Kiwomya.

Ipswich were fourth in the Premier League come January 1993, with a UEFA Cup place looking possible - there was even talk of a league title triumph. But a dip in form during the final weeks of the season saw Ipswich finish a disappointing 16th in the first ever Premier League.

Lyall added several more players to the Ipswich squad, including Oldham striker Ian Marshall and the Danish attacking midfielder Claus Thomsen. These acquisitions looked to have had a positive effect on Ipswich's playing fortunes, as they made a good start to the 1993-94 Premier League campaign. But the final weeks of the season saw a slump and Ipswich only avoided relegation when Sheffield United suffered a last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Chelsea on the final day of the season.

Lyall was sacked as Ipswich manager in December 1994 with the club rooted to the bottom of the Premiership. His successor George Burley was unable to turn things around and the writing was on the wall following a 9-0 defeat at Manchester United in early March. Relegation was confirmed soon afterwards and Ipswich ended the season having conceded 92 goals in 42 league games.

The George Burley era

George Burley arrived too late to keep Ipswich Town in the Premiership, but he was intent on getting them back up. In 1995-96, Ipswich fell one place short of the Division playoff zone, while the next three seasons brought semi-final playoff defeats.

By now, the likes of John Wark, Craig Forrest, Bontcho Guentchev and Claus Thomsen had long left the club. A new set of players had arrived and given Ipswich a reputation for performing attractive, high quality football. These players included goalkeeper Richard Wright, defender Titus Bramble, wing back/midfielder Kieron Dyer, midfielder/striker James Scowcroft, winger Martijn Reuser, striker Marcus Stewart and veteran defenders Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus.

Ipswich finally returned to the Premiership in 2000 after beating Barnsley 4-2 in the last Division One playoff final at Wembley Stadium before the old stadium was to be redeveloped. Most observers expected Ipswich to suffer relegation from the Premiership in their first season back at this level, but George Burley's hardworking side defied the odds and finished in an impressive 5th place - gaining themselves a UEFA Cup place and George Burley the Manager of the Year Award.

18 games into the 2001-02 Premiership campaign, Ipswich were bottom of the table with just one league victory and their top division days were looking numbered. Then George Burley's side climbed to 12th place with seven wins from eight fixtures which appeared to have saved them from relegation. But another decline set in and this time Ipswich were unable to halt it. Their fate was confirmed on the final day of the season with a 5-0 defeat away to Liverpool.

George Burley was sacked in October 2002 after nearly eight years as manager of Ipswich Town. He was replaced by the former Oldham Athletic, Everton and Manchester City manager Joe Royle, whose managerial career had so far yielded four promotions and one F.A Cup victory.

The Joe Royle Era

When Joe Royle became Ipswich manager, the club was struggling near the Division One relegation zone and following a revival after a change in management just missed the playoffs. They finished fifth at the end of the 2003-04 season but were knocked out of the playoff semi finals by West Ham United. His first glory with Ipswich was to win the FA Youth Cup in 2005. After missing automatic promotion Joe Royle is looking to achieve his fifth promotion success as a manager through the play offs - he won promotion to the Second Division in 1983 and First Division in 1991 with Oldham Athletic, as well as getting Manchester City to the Premiership in 2000 after two straight promotions.

Current squad

Goalkeepers

31. Shane Supple Irish
34. Lewis Price Wales

Defenders

2. Fabian Wilnis Dutch
3. Matthew Richards English
4. Jason deVos Canadian
6. Richard Naylor English
20. Aidan Collins English
21. Scott Mitchell English
26. Scott Barron English

Midfielders

7. Jim Magilton Northern Irish
10. Darren Currie English
11. Kevin Horlock Northern Irish
19. Jimmy Juan French on loan from AS Monaco
23. Owen Garvan Irish
28. Gerard Nash Irish
33. Ian Westlake English
TBA. Jaime Peters Canadian

Strikers

15. Dean McDonald English
17. Dean Bowditch English
22. Darryl Knights English

International and former players

Internationals who have played for Ipswich

Other noteworthy former players

List of managers

Honours

Popular chants

My name is Edward Ebeneezer Jeremiah Brown,
I'm a football supporter of Ipswich Town,
Wherever they play, you'll find me,
I haven't missed a game since I was three,
With my scarf and my rattle and my big rosette,
Singing where was the goalie when the ball was in the net?
So follow the town up or down,
I'm Edward Ebeneezer Jeremiah Brown,
But everybody calls me Ted,
2 4 6 8 Who do I appreciate,
It isn't hard to tell,
Come to Portman Road on a Saturday,
And you'll know darn well,
Who?
Ipswich! Ipswich! Come On The Town!
I've never felt more like singing the Blues,
When Ipswich win and Norwich lose,
Oh Ipswich, you've got me singing the Blues!
Hark! Now hear the Ipswich sing, the Norwich ran away,
And we will fight forever more,
Because of Boxing Day!

External links


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