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Ipswich Town History – All about the Club

We find Ipswich Town history very interesting and would like to share with you all we know about the club.

Ipswich Town Football Club, based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, competes in the Championship, the second tier of English football, having been promoted from League One in the 2022–23 season.

Established in 1878, Ipswich turned professional in 1936 and joined the Football League in 1938.

They clinched the English league title in their inaugural top-flight season (1961–62) and were runners-up in 1980–81 and 1981–82.

Ipswich had a decade-long top-six First Division run, interrupted only by their 1977–78 FA Cup win.

Notable in European football, they won the UEFA Cup in 1980–81 and boast a unique record of never losing a home match in European competition, defeating esteemed teams like Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Lazio, and Barcelona.

Portman Road in Ipswich hosts their home games, and Ipswich Town is Suffolk’s sole fully professional football club.

Engaging in the fierce East Anglian derby with Norfolk-based Norwich City, they’ve clashed 148 times since 1902.

The club sports blue shirts, white shorts, and blue socks as their traditional home colors.

Ipswich Town History Throughout its 145 Years of Existence

  • Full Name: Ipswich Town Football Club
  • Nicknames: The Blues, The Tractor Boys
  • Year of Formation: 1878
  • Place of Origin: Ipswich, Suffolk, England
  • Home Stadium: Portman Road
  • Owner: Gamechanger 20 Ltd.
  • Chairman: Mike O’Leary
  • Manager: Kieran McKenna
  • League: EFL Championship
  • Market Value: €34.90m

The Beginnings

Ipswich Town history - The Beginnings
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Established on October 16, 1878, as the amateur team Ipswich AFC, the club’s inception was under the presidency of local MP Thomas Cobbold, a Charterhouse School football alumnus.

George S Sherrington & J. M. Franks were chosen as joint Captains.

Ipswich AFC’s debut match resulted in a 6–1 home win over Stoke Wanderers at the Broom Hill ground on November 2, 1878, followed by a 2–0 victory over Harwich in their inaugural away match.

With only one loss in seventeen games in the second season, the club garnered enough interest to form a second team.

During the 1880–81 season, Ipswich achieved their largest-ever victory, a 15–0 triumph over East Stamford, featuring a treble hat trick by John Knights – both milestones still standing as club records.

Ipswich Town history lets us know that the team relocated to the current ground, Portman Road, in 1884, sharing facilities with the East Suffolk Cricket Club until 1936.

The Cobbold family’s influence persisted, with Nathanael Fromanteel Cobbold becoming a vice president in 1885.

Following his sudden demise the next year, his nephew, John Dupuis Cobbold, assumed the position.

In the 1886–87 season, the club secured their inaugural trophy with a 2–1 victory against a team representing Ipswich School in the Suffolk Challenge Cup final.

The following year, in 1888, the club merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to establish Ipswich Town F.C.

In 1890, the club entered the FA Cup qualifying rounds for the first time but was eliminated in the final qualifying round by the 93rd Highlanders.

While experiencing limited success in the Cup during the 1890s, they claimed several local cup victories, including the Suffolk Senior Cup and the Ipswich Charity Cup.

Dominating the Southern Amateur League

Dominating the Southern Amateur League
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In the 1899–1900 season, Ipswich received invitations from the Southern League and the Norfolk & Suffolk League and opted for the latter, finishing fourth in their inaugural league season and securing league runners-up status in 1902–03.

Simultaneously, in 1903, they joined the South East Anglian League and clinched the inaugural championship, leaving the league in 1906 but continuing in the Norfolk & Suffolk League.

Ipswich became a founding member of the Southern Amateur League in 1907.

Despite narrowly avoiding relegation in subsequent seasons, the club faced a record 15–1 defeat by the Corinthians at Portman Road on New Year’s Day, 1910.

The outbreak of World War I and the military occupation of Portman Road interrupted the 1914–15 season, and organized football did not resume until the 1920–21 season.

Just one year later, Ipswich Town became champions of the Southern Amateur League, securing the title on the season’s final day.

The club went on to win the league three more times (1929–30, 1932–33, and 1933–34) before becoming founding members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the conclusion of the 1934–35 season.

In 1936, local entrepreneur Leonard P. Thompson threatened to break away from the amateur club and establish a completely separate professional entity named Ipswich United.

Ipswich Town history reveals that to address the divide, club President John Murray Cobbold convened rival factions for a meeting at the Town Hall on May 1, 1936.

During this meeting, a unanimous decision was reached to transition Ipswich Town into a professional status.

Subsequently, the club was unanimously admitted to the Southern League for the 1936–37 season.

About Ipswich Town managers history, you should know that former Irish international footballer Mick O’Brien was appointed the inaugural professional manager appointed.

Turned Professional After Decades

Turned Professional After Decades
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Ipswich Town’s first professional match at Portman Road concluded with a 4–1 victory against Tunbridge Wells Rangers, and the team clinched the Southern League title in their debut professional season.

O’Brien’s tenure, however, was brief, as he departed after just one season due to the tragic passing of his wife.

Ipswich Town found themselves without a manager until November 10, 1936, when the club enlisted Scott Duncan, who had recently left the relegated Manchester United.

Under Duncan’s leadership, Ipswich achieved third place in the 1937–38 season.

On May 30, 1938, Ipswich Town secured entry into The Football League with a narrow two-vote margin, displacing Gillingham and initially joining the Third Division South.

The club’s final competitive match before the league suspension during World War II ended in a 1–1 draw against local rivals Norwich City.

Tragically, both John Murray Cobbold and director Robert Nevill Cobbold lost their lives during the war, with John Cavendish Cobbold assuming the director role in 1948.

While reading Ipswich Town history, we see that despite the wartime interruption, Scott Duncan served as the club’s manager for over 500 games from 1937 to 1955.

After three consecutive top-eight finishes, the 1949–50 season concluded with Ipswich in 17th place in the Third Division South, marking the club’s lowest-ever league finish.

In the early 1950s, striker Tom Garneys claimed the title of club top-scorer for four consecutive seasons and became the first professional Ipswich player to score four goals in a single game.

In the 1953–54 season, Ipswich secured the title and promotion to the Second Division, achieving eight consecutive wins during the campaign.

Champions of the Third Division, The Second Division, And Finally, the Top Tier

Ipswich Town history - Champions of the Third Division, The Second Division, And Finally the Top Tier
credit: theleaguepaper.com

However, the following year saw the club relegated back to the Third Division South after a challenging season, highlighted by progress to the FA Cup’s fifth round, where they were defeated by First Division Preston North End.

Following the relegation, Duncan resigned but remained in a secretarial role with the club for an additional three years.

His successor was the experienced manager, former England international, and double Championship winner at Tottenham Hotspur, Alf Ramsey.

Alf Ramsey’s appointment prompted Billy Wright to remark:

“In choosing Alf as their manager, Ipswich Town paid a great tribute to intelligent football – and footballers who think!”

In Ramsey’s inaugural season, Ipswich netted 106 goals in 46 games, securing a third-place finish in Division Three (South).

The subsequent 1956–57 season witnessed Ipswich clinching the Third Division South title for the second time, and local striker Ted Phillips emerged as a star, scoring a record 46 goals.

This season also marked Ipswich’s first game under floodlights, playing against Coventry City in September 1956.

At the season’s end, John Cavendish Cobbold assumed the role of the club’s chairman.

Following three seasons of mid-table finishes, Ipswich established themselves in the Second Division with moderate success in the FA Cup, reaching the fifth round in the 1958–59 season.

The pinnacle came in the 1960–61 season when Ipswich secured the Second Division title, earning promotion to the top tier.

In their inaugural top-flight season (1961–62), Ipswich became champions of the Football League, with Ray Crawford sharing the English and European top-scorer title with Derek Kevan of West Bromwich Albion.

As English league champions, Ipswich qualified for European football for the first time, defeating Maltese side Floriana in the European Cup’s first round but eventually losing to A.C. Milan in the second round.

Honoring Alf Ramsey After His Departure

Ipswich Town history - Honoring Alf Ramsey After His Departure
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Ramsey left in April 1963 to lead the England national football team, and Ipswich finished just four places above relegation in the 1962–63 season.

Ipswich Town history shows that to honor Ramsey’s success, Ray Crawford unveiled a statue of him outside Portman Road in 2000.

Jackie Milburn succeeded Ramsey, but Ipswich’s fortunes on the pitch declined, leading to relegation to the Second Division in the 1963–64 season.

Patrick Mark Cobbold joined the board of directors in 1964, and Lady Blanche Cobbold, John’s mother, became the club’s honorary president.

Milburn left after one full season, replaced by Bill McGarry in the 1964–65 season.

Ipswich remained in the Second Division for four years until McGarry guided them to promotion in the 1967–68 season, winning the division by a single point ahead of Queens Park Rangers.

McGarry departed to manage Wolves, and Bobby Robson took over in January 1969.

Bobby Robson’s appointment at Ipswich came about serendipitously when he crossed paths with Ipswich director Murray Sangster while scouting at Portman Road for Chelsea manager Dave Sexton.

Despite being dismissed from Fulham for failing to prevent relegation from the Second Division, Robson, with some prior managerial experience, assumed the role at Ipswich.

His initial seasons saw the team finish 18th and 19th, securing their place in the top division.

However, Robson’s tenure witnessed significant improvement, with a notable fourth-place finish in the First Division and triumph in the Texaco Cup during the 1972–73 season, where they defeated local rivals Norwich City 4–2.

The fourth-place finish earned Ipswich qualification for the 1973–74 UEFA Cup.

In the first round, they faced Real Madrid, winning 1–0 at Portman Road and securing passage with a goalless draw at the Bernabeu.

Lifting the FA Cup

Lifting the FA Cup
credit: bbc.co.uk

Although they fell in the quarter-finals, Ipswich’s league performance secured their return to the tournament the following season.

In 1974–75, Ipswich finished third in the First Division and reached the FA Cup semi-finals.

John Cobbold, battling cancer, relinquished his chairmanship to Patrick Cobbold in 1976.

The 1975–76 season saw Ipswich finish sixth, and in October 1976, they made a significant signing, acquiring Paul Mariner from Plymouth for a club record £220,000.

The team contended with Liverpool for the First Division title in the 1976–77 season, reaching the top of the table in February with a 5–0 defeat of Norwich City in the East Anglian derby.

Mariner’s contributions led to a third-place finish.

In the following season in Ipswich Town history, Mariner scored seven goals in the FA Cup, contributing to Ipswich’s second major honor, a 1–0 victory over Arsenal in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

Despite a challenging league performance, finishing 18th, Ipswich made a mark in the UEFA Cup, defeating Barcelona 3–0 at Portman Road but ultimately exiting on penalties in the third round.

FA Cup success secured Ipswich’s qualification for the 1978–79 European Cup Winners’ Cup, reaching the quarter-finals and again facing Barcelona.

Over the next two seasons, Robson brought Dutch players Arnold Muhren and Frans Thijssen to the club, achieving two more top-six finishes in the First Division.

However, it was the 1980–81 season that, in Robson’s words, “… helped put Ipswich on the map…”.

The team secured another second-place finish in the league and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, but the standout achievement of the season was their triumph in the UEFA Cup.

The Victors of the UEFA Cup with Bobby Robson

The Victors of the UEFA Cup with Bobby Robson
credit: theguardian.com

Ipswich defeated Michel Platini‘s AS Saint-Etienne 4–1 in the quarter-finals at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and secured a 2–0 aggregate victory over 1. FC Koln in the semi-finals, leading them to the club’s inaugural European final against AZ 67 Alkmaar.

After a 3–0 victory at Portman Road, a 4–2 defeat at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam resulted in a 5–4 aggregate victory over the Dutch side.

Entering the 1981–82 UEFA Cup campaign as holders, Ipswich faced an early exit in the first round against Scottish opponents Aberdeen.

Despite this setback, the club continued to experience success domestically, securing another second-place finish in the First Division, trailing Liverpool by four points.

Ipswich Town history states that Bobby Robson’s remarkable achievements at Ipswich attracted an offer from the Football Association to become the England national coach.

Despite being presented with a ten-year contract extension by Ipswich director Patrick Cobbold, Robson chose to depart on July 7, 1982, just two days after England’s elimination from the 1982 World Cup, succeeding Ron Greenwood as the coach of England.

Throughout his 13-year tenure at Ipswich, Robson introduced only 14 players from other clubs, relying heavily on talents developed through the club’s youth programs.

In 2002, in recognition of Robson’s contributions, a life-size statue of him was unveiled opposite the Cobbold Stand at Portman Road.

On July 7, 2006, Robson was privileged as the honorary president of Ipswich Town Football Club, a position not held since the passing of Lady Blanche Cobbold in 1987.

Bobby Robson’s successor at Ipswich was his chief coach, Bobby Ferguson.

In July 1982, Ferguson transitioned from coach to manager, and while the team experienced some success in various cup competitions, it marked the end of the high-league positions achieved under Robson.

Trying to Get Back to the First Division

Ipswich Town history - Trying to Get Back to the First Division
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Over the three seasons from 1982–83 to 1984–85, Ipswich reached the FA Cup quarter-final and League Cup semi-final in 1985.

However, their league performance declined, finishing 9th, 12th, and 17th.

The following season witnessed a further dip in league form, resulting in a 20th-place finish and relegation to the Second Division.

In the 1986–87 season, Ipswich finished fifth in the Second Division, qualifying for the play-offs, but Ferguson resigned after a 2–1 aggregate loss to Charlton Athletic.

John Duncan took over as manager from 1987 to 1990, guiding Ipswich to mid-table finishes each season, earning the club a reputation as a “competent Second Division side.”

Duncan was dismissed in June 1990, and John Lyall, who had previously managed West Ham United, took the helm.

After a mid-table finish in the 1990–91 season, Ipswich significantly improved the following season, winning the Second Division championship and gaining promotion to the inaugural season of the Premier League.

Ipswich Town history says that despite a promising start in the 1992–93 season, Ipswich found themselves in fourth place in January 1993 but experienced a dip in form during the final weeks, finishing 16th.

The next season mirrored the previous, with a strong start followed by a late slump.

Ipswich narrowly avoided relegation when Sheffield United suffered a last-gasp 3–2 defeat at Chelsea on the final day of the season.

Lyall was sacked in December 1994, with the club at the bottom of the Premiership.

George Burley took over but couldn’t reverse the fortunes, and Ipswich suffered a “humiliating” 9–0 defeat at Manchester United in early March, marking the biggest margin in a Premiership match.

Relegation was confirmed, and Ipswich conceded 93 goals in 42 league games that season.

Another UEFA Cup Run

Another UEFA Cup Run
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Patrick Cobbold, who had been the club chairman, left his role in 1991, with John Kerr taking over.

Patrick Cobbold passed away suddenly in 1994, but the Cobbold connection persisted with Patrick and John’s nephew, Major Philip William Hope-Cobbold, joining the board in 1995.

David Sheepshanks, who had been on the board of directors since 1986, assumed the role of club chairman in 1995.

Over the next four seasons, Ipswich faced near-misses in their pursuit of promotion.

In the 1995–96 season, they fell just one place short of the First Division play-off zone, followed by three consecutive semi-final play-off defeats.

In 2000, Ipswich secured a place in the Division One play-off final, winning 4–2 against Barnsley and making a return to the Premiership after a five-year absence.

Despite low expectations, Ipswich defied pundits’ predictions during the subsequent season, narrowly missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification, a fact regarding Ipswich Town Champions League history.

Their fifth-place finish earned them a UEFA Cup place, and George Burley was named Premier League Manager of the Year.

The 2001–02 season saw Matteo Sereni and Finidi George join to strengthen the squad for European competition.

Ipswich struggled in the league but managed a notable victory over Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup third round.

Despite a run of wins, they faced relegation, confirmed with a 5–0 defeat by Liverpool on the final day.

Ipswich Town history informs us of the fact that financial challenges emerged as a result of relegation, leading to player sales and administration.

Ipswich qualified for the UEFA Cup again but was eliminated in the second round by Slovan Liberec.

George Burley was sacked mid-season due to a poor league start.

Joe Royle took over, sparking a revival that narrowly missed reaching the 2002–03 play-offs.

Multiple Managers Attempting to Bring the Squad Back to the Premier League

Multiple Managers Attempting to Bring the Squad Back to the Premier League
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The club emerged from administration in the 2003–04 season and continued to contend for promotion.

Finishing fifth, Ipswich lost to West Ham United in the play-off semi-finals.

The 2004–05 season saw them finish third but once again lose to West Ham in the play-offs.

Despite being preseason promotion favorites in 2005–06, Ipswich finished 15th, and Joe Royle resigned in May 2006.

Jim Magilton became manager in June 2006, guiding the team to a 14th-place finish in his first season.

In October 2007, British businessman Marcus Evans acquired a £44m stake in the club.

The 2007–08 season brought further progress, finishing eighth.

Magilton’s team fell short of promotion in the 2008–09 season, leading to his sacking in April 2009.

Roy Keane succeeded him, and Sheepshanks stepped down as chairman in May 2009.

The 2009–10 season began poorly, but Ipswich finished 15th.

Keane’s second season started well but declined, leading to his departure in January 2011.

Paul Jewell took over, guiding Ipswich to a 13th-place finish and a 15th-place finish in his first two seasons.

Chris Hutchings briefly took over before Mick McCarthy assumed the role, leading Ipswich to a 14th-place finish.

The following season, they finished ninth.

Despite losing in the play-offs in the 2014–15 season, Ipswich secured sixth place.

The subsequent season saw them narrowly miss the playoff places, finishing seventh.

Ipswich Town history depicts that in 2016–17, they finished 16th, their lowest since 1958–59.

Mick McCarthy’s contract was not extended in March 2018, and he quit in April.

Bryan Klug served as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Paul Hurst took over as manager at the beginning of the 2018–19 season, marking a “new era” for the club.

Demoted to the Third Tier

Demoted to the Third Tier
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However, he was dismissed in less than five months after securing only one victory in fourteen league matches, leaving Ipswich at the bottom of the Championship.

On October 27, 2018, former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert was appointed as the new manager.

Despite winning only three games in the next 28, Ipswich suffered relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1957, confirmed after a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City on April 13, 2019.

In their inaugural season in League One, Ipswich finished eleventh, with the final standings determined by points per game due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related suspension.

The struggles continued in the 2020–21 season, leading to calls for Paul Lambert’s dismissal by the East Anglian Daily Times when Ipswich found themselves in tenth place in January.

Lambert and the club mutually agreed to part ways on February 28, 2021.

In the aftermath of Paul Lambert’s departure, Paul Cook, the former manager of Wigan Athletic, assumed the managerial role and was granted a contract extending until 2023, effective from March 2, 2021.

A significant development occurred in Ipswich Town history.

On April 7, 2021, the club disclosed that a majority stake had been acquired by the US investment group Gamechanger 20 Limited, while the previous owner, Marcus Evans, retained a minority shareholding.

Despite changes in ownership, Ipswich concluded the 2020–21 League One season in the ninth position.

Heading into the 2021-22 season, Ipswich faced persistent challenges, with their performance stagnating.

Subsequent to a string of unsatisfactory results, Paul Cook was relieved of his managerial duties after a tenure of merely nine months on December 6, 2021.

The club took ten days to secure a replacement, ultimately appointing Manchester United’s former assistant coach, Kieran McKenna.

Recent Years Under Kieran McKenna’s Management

Ipswich Town history - Recent Years Under Kieran McKenna’s Management
credit: itv.com

While form notably improved for the remainder of the season under McKenna’s leadership, Ipswich fell short of mounting a serious playoff challenge, ultimately finishing in the 11th position at the conclusion of the season.

Entering their fourth season in League One with strength, Ipswich demonstrated dominance by securing seven victories in the initial ten rounds while enduring just one defeat.

Maintaining a strong position in the top two until the 25th round, Ipswich faced a setback as a series of draws pushed them out of the automatic promotion slots, necessitating entry into the play-off positions.

Despite the apparent dimming of their prospects for automatic promotion, Kieran McKenna’s adept management propelled the team back into the coveted second spot, achieved through an impressive eighteen-game unbeaten run in the season’s closing stages.

We read in Ipswich Town history that their triumphant return to the Championship was officially sealed with a resounding 6-0 victory over Exeter on April 29, 2023.

Throughout the season, Ipswich showcased their offensive prowess by scoring an impressive 101 goals and accumulating a total of 98 points.

The team’s journey was marked by resilience, tactical acumen, and a remarkable turnaround under McKenna’s guidance, culminating in a well-deserved promotion.

Read More: Birmingham City History – All about the Club

Ipswich Town Stadiums

Ipswich Town Stadiums
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Between 1878 and 1884, Ipswich Town utilized two local grounds, Broomhill and Brook’s Hall.

However, a significant change occurred in 1884 when the club relocated to Portman Road, where they have remained ever since.

Notably, Ipswich was at the forefront of innovation, being among the first clubs to introduce goal nets in 1890.

The initial development of the grounds took a more substantial turn in 1901 when a tobacco processing plant was constructed along the southern edge.

The first stand, a wooden structure, was erected on the Portman Road side in 1905, but it faced challenges when the roof was blown off in 1911.

During World War I, the British Army utilized the ground.

Professionalism was adopted by the club in 1936, leading to the construction of the first terracing bank at the north end in the following year.

Following their Southern League victory in Ipswich Town history, a similar terrace was added to the southern ‘Churchmans’ end.

By 1954, all sides were terraced, and floodlights were installed in 1959 to facilitate play in lower light conditions.

The transformation continued with the construction of the two-tier Portman Stand along the east side in 1971, replacing the existing terraces.

In 1982, the West Stand underwent expansion with the addition of a third tier and was subsequently renamed the Pioneer Stand, reflecting sponsorship from Pioneer Corporation.

This stand transitioned to an all-seating format in 1990.

Following the Taylor Report’s recommendations post the Hillsborough disaster in 1992, the terraces in both the north and south stands were converted to all-seating, making Portman Road the first fully seated stadium in the top tier of English football, boasting a spectator capacity of 22,600.

Honoring the Legendary Figures in its History

Honoring the Legendary Figures in its History
credit: itfc.co.uk

On-field success paved the way for substantial investments in the infrastructure, with the club committing over £22 million to the redevelopment of both the North and South stands.

This extensive renovation resulted in a capacity of 30,311, positioning it as the largest-capacity football stadium in East Anglia at the time.

Over the past decade, the club honored its legendary figures by unveiling statues of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson outside the stadium.

In September 2009, the North Stand was renamed in tribute to the esteemed former manager, Sir Bobby Robson.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Ipswich Town’s First Division victory, the South Stand was similarly renamed in honor of Alf Ramsey, Ipswich and England’s former manager, on 31 March 2012.

Portman Road now boasts two stands named after the most successful managers in Ipswich Town history, both of whom are England’s most successful managers.

The West Stand underwent a name change on 10 July 2012, transitioning from the Pioneer Stand and the Britannia Stand to the East of England Co-operative Stand, following a sponsorship agreement with the East of England Co-operative Society.

This sponsorship persisted until 2021, after which the stand reverted to its former designation as the West Stand.

The East Stand, formerly known as the Portman Stand, carries the name Cobbold Stand, paying homage to the club’s former owners.

Portman Road’s playing surface is highly esteemed, having earned recognition as the best pitch in the league on multiple occasions.

Alan Ferguson, the former groundsman, received several accolades, including both Premiership and Championship Groundsman of the Year.

Beyond being Ipswich Town’s home ground, the stadium has hosted numerous England youth international matches and a senior England friendly international against Croatia in 2003.

Read More: Sheffield United History – All about the Club

Ipswich Town Kit History

Ipswich Town Kit History
credit: suffolknews.co.uk

Ipswich Town traditionally dons blue shirts paired with white shorts and blue socks, earning them the nickname “The Blues,” which reflects their classic attire.

Initially registered with blue and white striped shirts and black shorts, the club transitioned to the iconic all-blue shirts and white shorts combination in the 1936–37 season upon their entry into the Southern Football League as a professional entity.

Ipswich Town jersey history shows us that this color scheme has since remained the cornerstone of the club’s home kits.

In the realm of away kits, Ipswich, since turning professional, has showcased a variety of colors, including white, orange, red, and black vertical stripes, claret and green, cream and black vertical stripes, and dark blue and claret.

Notably, in 2006, the club demonstrated its philanthropic spirit by donating 500 orange and blue-and-white shirts to children in Iraq.

In 1981, Ipswich Town revealed a sponsorship agreement with the Japanese electronics company Pioneer Corporation, becoming the club’s inaugural official sponsor.

Pioneer Corporation also sponsored the west stand at Portman Road, known as the West Stand, until 1999.

Pioneer continued to sponsor the club’s kits until 1985, when a new deal was struck with the local Suffolk radio station, Radio Orwell.

However, Radio Orwell’s sponsorship was short-lived, lasting only a single season before being succeeded by pharmaceutical and horticultural chemical manufacturers, Fisons.

Ed Sheeran Sponsoring the Club’s Kit

Ed Sheeran Sponsoring the Club’s Kit
credit: bbc.com

Fisons served as the main sponsors from the 1986–87 season until the 1994–95 season, including the successful 1991–92 season when Ipswich secured the Second Division championship and earned promotion to the inaugural Premier League season.

Subsequently, Ipswich had various kit sponsors, including Greene King, a Suffolk-based brewing company, from 1995 to 2001, followed by energy companies TXU Energi (2001–2003), Powergen (2003–2006), and E.ON (2006–2008).

Following Marcus Evans’ takeover of the club in 2007, the Marcus Evans Group became the primary sponsor, maintaining this role from 2008 until 2018.

In January 2018, the club agreed to a new three-year sponsorship deal worth nearly £2 million with the British online casino company Magical Vegas.

In May 2020, Magical Vegas announced that they donated the final year of their shirt sponsor rights to The Carers Trust charity for the 2020–21 season.

On May 6, 2021, Ipswich disclosed that the popular artist and long-time Ipswich fan Ed Sheeran would be the club’s new shirt sponsor for the 2021–22 season.

This deal was later extended to cover until the end of the 2023–24 season.

On June 14, 2022, Ipswich announced a four-year contract with Umbro to become the new kit manufacturer for both the Men’s and Women’s teams.

This marked the first time since 1995 that Umbro produced Ipswich’s kits.

Read More: Liverpool History- All about the Club

Ipswich Town Badge History

Ipswich Town Badge History
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Ipswich Town’s jerseys lacked a crest until the mid-1960s, at which point they embraced a design inspired by the Ipswich coat of arms.

The crest featured a gold lion rampant guardant on a red background occupying the left half, while the right half displayed three gold ramparts against a blue background.

A significant redesign of the crest occurred in 1972 through a competition won by John Gammage, the Treasurer of the Supporters Club.

The history of the Ipswich Town logo tells us that the new design elements were carefully chosen to symbolize the region’s characteristics.

John Gammage Explained:

“I regarded the Suffolk Punch as a noble animal, well suited to dominate our design and represent the club. And to complete the badge I thought of the town of Ipswich which contains many historical buildings, including the Wolsey Gate, and is close to the sea with a large dock area.”

The crest was reintroduced on the home and goalkeeper kits during the 2020/21 season as a tribute to the 40th anniversary of Ipswich’s UEFA Cup victory.

In 1995, after consulting with a Supporters Forum, the crest underwent modifications.

Changes included moving the turrets of the Wolsey Gate to the top, altering the yellow background to red, enhancing the physique of the Suffolk Punch, and expanding “F.C.” to “Football Club.”

To symbolize the three major trophies won by Ipswich Town—the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup, and the old First Division—three stars were incorporated on the sleeve of the away shirt for the 2004–05 season.

The redesign before the 2007–08 season positioned these stars directly above the crest, and in 2022–23, they were relocated to the back of the shirt.

Read More: Norwich City History – All about the Club

Ipswich Town Rivalries History

Ipswich Town Rivalries History
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The East Anglian derby refers to football matches contested between Norwich City and Ipswich Town, the sole fully professional football clubs in the neighboring East Anglian counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, respectively.

In recent times, it has occasionally been humorously dubbed the “Old Farm derby,” drawing parallels with the Old Firm derby played between Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers and highlighting the agricultural significance in East Anglia.

Widely considered the second-fiercest rivalry in England, the derby has witnessed 148 encounters, including friendly matches, with Ipswich securing victory in 60 instances compared to Norwich’s 58.

In competitive meetings, Norwich holds a narrow lead, having won 47 matches to Ipswich’s 45.

The inception of the series dates back to the early 20th century when both clubs were amateur organizations, with the first derby between the two professional teams occurring in 1939.

The most recent encounter took place on February 10, 2019, with Norwich City emerging victorious 3–0 at their home ground, Carrow Road.

Ipswich’s last derby triumph occurred over thirteen years ago on April 19, 2009, with a 3–2 victory at Portman Road, and they have not won at Carrow Road since February 5, 2006.

Securing victory in the derby is considered a significant milestone in determining which club can assert itself as the “Pride of Anglia.”

As of the 2023–24 season, both teams compete in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football.

According to the Football Rivalries Report 2008, the East Anglian derby is recognized as the second most intense rivalry in England, trailing only the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Long-lasting Spiteful Duel

The Long-lasting Spiteful Duel
credit: eurosport.com

The report emphasizes that the 40-mile distance between the teams does not diminish the intensity of the East Anglian “Old Farm” derbies.

The combination of geographical proximity, frequent matchups, and the recent performances of both clubs places this rivalry ahead of nearly all others in League football, with only one exception.

Former referee Keith Hackett shared his perspective on the East Anglian derby, stating:

“As for the most aggressive atmosphere that I’ve ever encountered, believe it or not, it was at Carrow Road for Norwich v Ipswich Town. There are certain derby fixtures that you always know are going to be highly charged, but the East Anglian derby tops the lot. The players came out of the tunnel as if they were ready for a boxing match. The noise was intense and aggressive.”

Rob Hadgraft, the author of The Old Farm, provided several explanations for the fervor of the rivalry:

“I think it’s because each club represents the entire county … There’s only one club in Norfolk, and the same goes for Suffolk … The people live up to 40 miles apart, so they don’t mingle and have pals who support the other lot … you’ve got two sets of fans who never really mingle or mix, and there’s no proper friendships. They really do despise each other.”

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Ipswich Town Mascot History

Ipswich Town Mascot History
credit: itfc.co.uk

Ipswich Town F.C. boasts two cherished mascots, with the primary one being Crazee, renowned for his amiable nature and active participation in various charitable endeavors.

One notable challenge he took upon himself was sitting on all 30,300 stadium seats in a season, with the funds raised contributing to Ipswich Town Football Club’s Charitable Trust’s disability football program.

Additionally, there’s another beloved mascot named Bluey.

Represented in the club’s crest on the shirts and shorts of the kit, Bluey is symbolized by a horse with one hoof casually resting on a football.

This iconic image featuring the horse might be a representation of the endearing Bluey.

Furthermore, depicting a river underneath the horse signifies the River Orwell, which gracefully traverses through the town.

These mascots and symbols add character to Ipswich Town F.C. and play a vital role in connecting the club with its fans, fostering a sense of community and shared identity.

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Fan Base & Nicknames

Fan Base & Nicknames
credit: groundhopperguides.com

A recent moniker for the team is “The Tractor Boys,” a term that gained popularity during Ipswich Town’s brief stint in the Premier League from 2000–01 to 2001–02, when they frequently faced more high-profile clubs.

This nickname humorously alludes to Suffolk’s agricultural heritage, showcasing a form of self-deprecating humor.

Although the exact origins of the nickname are unclear, its first widely accepted use occurred while playing against Leeds United in the 2000–2001 season.

Ipswich Town history lets us know that Ipswich was leading 2–1, and Leeds fans started chanting, “A bunch of tractor drivers is beating us.”

The ironic chant “1–0 to the Tractor Boys” gained prominence and publicity due to taunts from supporters of more established Premiership clubs during Town’s time in the Premiership, and the media commonly employs the nickname.

Former Town manager Jim Magilton expressed his disapproval of the nickname, stating that it evoked “images of carrot-crunching yokels.” At the same time, players like Matt Holland took the chant in good humor.

Ipswich Town boasts a global fan base, with the official Ipswich Town Supporters Club having branches across the world.

The club shares a particularly strong connection with German club Fortuna Dusseldorf, as Fortuna fans have been making an annual pilgrimage to Portman Road since 2006.

Ipswich supporters also organize trips to the Merkur Spiel Arena in Dusseldorf to cheer for Fortuna during their home matches.

In 2015, the two clubs arranged a pre-season friendly match in Dusseldorf, marking the first meeting between the teams.

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Damian Cade
Damian Cade
He is an enthusiastic senior writer for Footbalium who leans towards writing and researching the history of football clubs and players' life stories.
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