Fans love Tractor Boy
TRACTOR Boy's adoption as an official Ipswich Town mascot may be hanging in the balance but there seems to be little doubt that Town fans love him.An online poll at The Evening Star website – www.
TRACTOR Boy's adoption as an official Ipswich Town mascot may be hanging in the balance but there seems to be little doubt that Town fans love him.
An online poll at The Evening Star website – www.eveningstar.co.uk – shows that as far as Tractor Boy's popularity goes, he seems to be as big as ever.
Seven out of every ten voters so far have said they just love the mascot, created by The Evening Star, who has a fondness for farmyard machinery.
The Star launched the poll after the club sent a survey to 50,000 Ipswich supporters seeking their opinion on a range of issues. One of the club's questions asked if they should officially adopt the image.
We put this on our website and today the response was that 56 per cent of people responded with a "No" vote.
However in a follow up survey to find out if fans liked the Tractor Boy image the response in favour was phenonenal with 67pc saying they did.
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Although the mascot and branding has been created by The Star many fans have different ideas of the image but want to keep hold of the agricultural image which portrays Ipswich as the county town of Suffolk.
The Star's brand manager Austen Dack, who along with Design Editor Jon Elsey and Star Editor Nigel Pickover created the mascot, said the current vote in favour illustrated the high esteem in which Tractor Boy is held by fans.
He said: "It looks like the fans love the fun image of Tractor Boy and this has been seen by the way they have interacted with him through a range of items.
"We've produced car stickers, Tractor Boy beer, McDonalds meals, a CD and posters which have all sold well. There are more than 10,000 car stickers in circulation and there can be little doubt that Evening Star readers have already adopted him as their own."
Phil Ham, editor of Ipswich Town fanzine Those Were The Days, said he thought Tractor Boy was a great bit of fun for the fans, but felt the club shouldn't adopt it as an image.
He said: "From a fans point of view and as something which organically grew from the fans, it is a bit of fun. But, if it became officially sanctioned it could be a millstone and we could become known as the ex-Tractor fans!
"Some fans might think that the club adopting the image would be a case of them jumping on the supporters bandwagon. It may lose some kind of kudos if that happened."
Mr Ham added: "The wider media seem to be using it more now but I think the club may see it as a backward step to use an image which is self deprecating."
This season, the national media have adopted the 'Tractor Boy' phrase and regularly refer to the club by the new nickname.
Ipswich fans have clearly taken to the image and the song '1-0 to the Tractor Boys' has become a familiar chant, though the club politely refused to allow the mascot into Portman Road on match days.
Tractor Boy has only seen one game in the flesh – the FA Cup win at Dagenham and Redbridge in January, but is a familiar fixture outside Portman Road on match days.
To vote go to www.eveningstar.co.uk.
Visit Ipswich Town's official site at www.itfc.co.uk
For Tractor Boy car stickers, follow the link to Premier Blues at www.eveningstar.co.uk