Graham gets to Portman Road - at last

GRAHAM Page never made it into the Ipswich Town team – but he was once offered a trial by then manager Alf Ramsey.He never made it to the trial – he was never given the letter by his stepfather – but his still playing football regularly, at the age of 60.

By Paul Geater

GRAHAM Page never made it into the Ipswich Town team – but he was once offered a trial by then manager Alf Ramsey.

He never made it to the trial – he was never given the letter by his stepfather – but his still playing football regularly, at the age of 60.

Now Mr Page has given his letter – complete with the envelope it was sent in – to the football club for its new museum.

"I was 15 when it was sent to my stepfather in 1957, it invited me to a trial at Portman Road," he said.

"I had a difficult relationship with him and I never got the letter – so I never made it to the trial," he said.

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Mr Page found out about the letter later, and kept it as an heirloom filed away.

However when he moved from Foxhall to Eye recently, the letter re-emerged while he was packing.

"I didn't want it any more, so I offered to donate it to the club," he said.

After contacting club historian Pat Godbold, who was Ramsey and then Bobby Robson's secretary, he presented the letter to Town chairman David Sheepshanks.

"I don't think I was good enough to make it," he said.

But Mrs Godbold wasn't so sure. "It may have been that with coaching things could have worked out," she said.

Mr Page wasn't put off the game – and has played local football ever since.

During the late 1950s he was the star striker for the Nacton Road Youth Club, coached by legendary Town winger Jimmy Leadbetter.

"I started as a striker, but as I grew older I moved into midfield and now I play in the centre of defence.

"Now I only play in Sunday morning leagues – but I'm still carrying on," he said.

Mr Sheepshanks was delighted to receive the letter to add to the club's collection of memorabilia.

"It's a wonderful gesture by Graham, we are delighted to accept this," he said.

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