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Ipswich Town’s greatest games: Blues win First Division title in 1962

The most unlikely league champions? Almost certainly. This was the line-up which won the Division One title, against all the odds, in 1961-1962. Pictures: DAVE KINDRED

The most unlikely league champions? Almost certainly. This was the line-up which won the Division One title, against all the odds, in 1961-1962. Pictures: DAVE KINDRED

Dave Kindred

In today’s look back at Ipswich Town’s greatest games, we relive the extraordinary day in 1962 that the Blues shocked the footballing world by winning the First Division title.

Action from the crucial, championship-deciding game against Aston Villa at Portman Road in May 1962. Here, a shot from Ted Phillips goes just wide much to the relief of Villa keeper Sims. Ray Crawford is in close attendance. Picture: DAVE KINDRED Action from the crucial, championship-deciding game against Aston Villa at Portman Road in May 1962. Here, a shot from Ted Phillips goes just wide much to the relief of Villa keeper Sims. Ray Crawford is in close attendance. Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Ipswich Town 2 Aston Villa 0,

The ball is on its way to the back of the net, thanks to Ray Crawford's diving header after John Elsworthy had hit the bar. The ball is on its way to the back of the net, thanks to Ray Crawford's diving header after John Elsworthy had hit the bar.

April 28, 1962

The triumphant Town team arrives on the Cornhill in Ipswich in the traditional open-top bus to be greeted by thousands of adoring fans. Picture: DAVE KINDRED The triumphant Town team arrives on the Cornhill in Ipswich in the traditional open-top bus to be greeted by thousands of adoring fans. Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Ipswich Town skipper Andy Nelson holds the First Division Championship trophy aloft on the Cornhill after their win over Aston Villa in 1962 Ipswich Town skipper Andy Nelson holds the First Division Championship trophy aloft on the Cornhill after their win over Aston Villa in 1962

Surely the most extraordinary day in the illustrious history of Ipswich Town Football Club.

Andy Nelson doesn't look especially comfortable as he is hoisted skyward by John Elsworthy and Roy Bailey during the 1962 championship celebrations. Picture: DAVE KINDRED Andy Nelson doesn't look especially comfortable as he is hoisted skyward by John Elsworthy and Roy Bailey during the 1962 championship celebrations. Picture: DAVE KINDRED

Alf Ramsey’s collection of has-beens and cast-offs had shocked the football world a year earlier when they were promoted to the First Division. They were universally written off as relegation certainties.

But, as the season went by, incredibly Town found themselves in the race for the title, alongside mighty Spurs and Burnley.

Prolific strikers Ray Crawford and Ted Phillips were banging in goals left, right, and centre, supplied by Ramsey’s deep-lying wingers, Jimmy Leadbetter and Roy “Rocky” Stephenson.

It was a revolutionary tactic which flummoxed First Division defences and, four years later, would see England to World cup glory.

On the final Saturday of the season, in front of nearly 29,000 fans, Town knew they must win against visitors Aston Villa.

The first half was frustrating, but in the 72nd minute a diving header from Crawford brought the breakthrough. Four minutes later, Crawford struck again.

Town had done their bit, and a few minutes after the final whistle came the news that Burnley had only drawn.

Ipswich were First Division champions – arguably the greatest-ever achievement in English football.

Punters are tipping Ipswich Town to win Sunday’s hotly-anticipated derby clash with old rivals Norwich City.

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers says the new-look Blues squad should fear no-one in the Championship – and that includes Norwich this Sunday.

Respected Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham insists cool heads will decide Sunday’s East Anglian Championship derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City.

The Gunn family know all about the highs and lows that the East Anglian derby can provide and Angus is relishing the chance to follow in the footsteps of his father for Norwich this Sunday.

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers issued a rallying call to his team-mates ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with Norwich City telling them “now is the time to stand-up and be counted.”

Ipswich Town legend and former England captain Terry Butcher has paid tribute to his son Christopher’s “larger than life character” and described him as a “formidable and true friend” following the 35-year-old’s death.

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers has hit back at Nelson Oliveira’s claim that Norwich City are a ‘better club’ with ‘better players’ by calling the City striker ‘not very well educated’.

The fit-and-firing David McGoldrick is the Ipswich Town player that Norwich City fans would most like to have in the Canary ranks in Sunday’s East Anglian derby.

Former Ipswich Town star Marcus Stewart says players have to put themselves “in the shoes of the fans” on derby day.

Just 13 players have represented both Norwich City and Ipswich Town since 1980 – but can you remember which club those players represented more?

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