An Ipswich Town superfan who became a treasured member of the football family has died from cancer, aged 54.  

Terri Chandler was determined to make the most of every moment of her life, said her brother, Richard Chandler.  

Even when she discovered that her cancer was terminal in January, Terri’s zest for life could not be contained.

She spent the past six months fulfilling every dream possible – attending sporting events, having dinner in restaurants she had always wanted to go to, and seeing as many concerts as she possibly could, including P!nk, Ed Sheeran and Adele. 

Richard said that these are the memories he will cherish the most. 

Ipswich Star: Terri with her brother, Richard, and Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson. Image: Richard ChandlerTerri with her brother, Richard, and Ipswich Town owner Brett Johnson. Image: Richard Chandler (Image: Richard Chandler)

“Terri was fiercely independent,” he said. “She had a way of doing things her way. She wouldn’t conform to rules, and she was never a girly-girl.  

“She loved most sports, but especially football.”  

Terri and Richard became avid supporters of Ipswich Town when they were children and started attending games with their stepfather. When they left school, they continued travelling to watch home and away games, spending many an afternoon together cheering on the Blues at Portman Road. 

Terri was born in Sudbury but spent most of her adult life in Colchester. Upon leaving school, she studied nursery nursing at the former Suffolk College, and found a job working on the children’s ward at Colchester Hospital. 

From there, Terri became a healthcare assistant and began studying to obtain her nursing qualification. She then became a registered nurse and then a staff nurse, working predominantly at Colchester Hospital.  

Terri specialised in allergies and asthma. As one of few nurses working in such a specialised field, Terri became well-known amongst her patients, who still remember the kindness she showed them. 

“Terri was dedicated to what she did,” said Richard. “I’ve had messages from people who she treated when they were children. They kept in contact, and she carried on helping them.” 

Many people got to know Terri through her love of Ipswich Town, after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 2021. 

Richard explained that Terri got to know the parents of Town player Wes Burns, who became close friends. She became friends with Burns, too, who would sometimes arrange for Terri and Richard to have passes to the players’ lounge. 

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Town hero Wes BurnsIpswich Town hero Wes Burns (Image: Ross Halls)

After the club was bought by new owners from the USA, Terri was invited to attend a game as the guest of CEO Mark Ashton. It was there that she met one of the club’s new owners, Brett Johnson. He, too, became a close friend of both Terri’s and Richard’s. 

Terri became a much-loved and popular member of the Ipswich Town family. She even began attending games with her camera, and taking photos of the team and having them signed afterwards. 

“Every now and then, she would see someone post on Twitter about a player who was their child’s favourite player,” said Richard. “She would message them and send that photo to them.” 

Terri felt that she had been given an opportunity to get to know the plays and staff than most fans would ever get, he explained. She wanted to share that gift. 

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Town’s Freddie Ladapo (right) celebrates after scoring their sides first goal during the Sky Bet League One match at Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood. Image: PAIpswich Town’s Freddie Ladapo (right) celebrates after scoring their sides first goal during the Sky Bet League One match at Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood. Image: PA (Image: PA)

Terri collected sporting memorabilia all her life, not just from Ipswich Town but from the England team and other sporting events. When she was told that her cancer had spread in January, she decided to sell her collection at auction, to raise money for charity and to help her complete her bucket list. 

The auction was held at Portman Road, and Terri was thrilled to raise thousands of pounds for charity. A sum of £1,000 each has now been donated to the Ipswich Town Foundation and the Collingwood Centre, the cancer unit at Colchester hospital.  

A donation will soon be made to the St Helena’s Hospice in Colchester, where Terri spent her final days. 

Terri died on Thursday, June 29. 

On behalf of Ipswich Town, a spokesperson said: “The Club was truly saddened to hear of the passing of lifelong supporter, Terri.  

“We know how hard she battled her illness and continued to support the Blues until the very end. Our thoughts are very much with her friends & family.”