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Town legend scoffs at Norwich striker’s ‘better club’ claim

PUBLISHED: 08:56 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 08:56 17 October 2017

Ray Crawford helped fire Ipswich Town to the top-flight title in 1961-62. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Ray Crawford helped fire Ipswich Town to the top-flight title in 1961-62. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Norwich City will ‘never, ever be a bigger club than Ipswich Town’, says Blues legend Ray Crawford.

Nelson Oliveira thinks Norwich are a 'better club' than Ipswich Town. Picture: FOCUS IMAGES Nelson Oliveira thinks Norwich are a 'better club' than Ipswich Town. Picture: FOCUS IMAGES

Town’s record goalscorer was responding to Canaries striker Nelson Oliveira’s claim that the Norfolk outfit are a ‘better club’ and have ‘better players’ ahead of Sunday lunchtime’s East Anglian derby at Portman Road (12pm).

Having claimed a top-flight title, FA Cup and UEFA Cup during the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, Ipswich have the historical bragging rights.

Town have not beaten their cross-border rivals since 2009 though and had to watch on as Norwich enjoyed four seasons in the Premier League recently.

“Norwich will never, ever be a bigger club than Ipswich Town,” scoffed Crawford, the 81-year-old having scored 218 goals for the Blues during the ‘50s and ‘60s.

“Come on, we won the First Division in the biggest underdog success story in English football history. We won the FA Cup, conquered Europe and produced international stars.

“We are known worldwide because of the achievements of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, who went on to have such success with England.

“Norwich are best known for Delia Smith shouting ‘let’s be having you!’ A few recent years in the top league doesn’t change all of that.”

• Reporters from both sides of the Suffolk-Norfolk border have their say ahead of the East Anglian derby

Crawford continued: “I always remember my first East Anglian derby experience. It was comedic really. We went up there and couldn’t get through the crowd because there was six of their supporters carrying a coffin which had the words ‘we’re going to bury Ipswich Town today’ written on it. We ended up winning 4-1 that day – I think I got two and Ted (Phillips) got two.

“The players mingled more with the supporters in those days. We travelled to games on the bus and they would be saying to us ‘just don’t lose the big one’.

• COMMENT: Why the Blues can finally reclaim bragging rights on Sunday

“I loved scoring in every game, but even more so against Norwich because I knew how much it made our supporters happy.

“As players you can move on from derby games and focus on the next one, but for supporters they are giving out or receiving that banter for months. I was always very aware that, for them, it was a mighty, mighty big day.”

He added: “I’ll be watching it on television Sunday, cheering the boys on. I think the Town can win.”

• QUIZ: Can you name all 20 of Ipswich Town’s East Anglian derby goalscorers from the last 20 years?

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