Ipswich legends to be celebrated on Broom Hill board

Sir Bobby Robson with FA Cup on Cornhill, Ipswich

Sir Bobby Robson with FA Cup on Cornhill, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

A board to celebrate some of the legends of Ipswich is to be unveiled as part of the Heritage Festival in September – in the year which marks the 50th anniversary of Sir Alf Ramsey leading England to World Cup glory.

Sir Alf Ramsey

Sir Alf Ramsey - Credit: PA

Put together by The Broomhill Pool Trust, the group behind the restoration of the lido, the board hails the successes of some of Ipswich’s best known names who have links to the Broom Hill area, and has taken more than five years to complete.

Top of the list is Sir Alf Ramsey for his 32 England caps, his victories with Ipswich Town Football Club (ITFC), including the 1962 English championships, and, of course, England’s World Cup victory against Germany in 1966.

Alongside him sits former Ipswich Town and England manager Sir Bobby Robson, who lead ITFC to be FA Cup winners in 1978 and England to the World Cup semi-finals in 1990.

Research for the board discovered that Ipswich had a Nobel Prize winner in Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, and that his brother George was instrumental in setting up the Ipswich Association Football Club.

Mike Read at Broomhill Pool

Mike Read at Broomhill Pool

It was also found that British springboard diving champion Betty Slade, who represented Britain at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, appeared in the Leon Markson Aquashow at Broomhill Pool in 1947.

Mike Read MBE, a 1960s Olympian who trained for 29 of his 33 English Channel swims at Broomhill Pool before its closure, is also proudly presented.

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Perhaps most interesting of all is the history of the Ipswich Association Football Club, which played its first ever match at Broom Hill – and most likely on the ground that the lido now stands – before it merged with the rugby club at Portman Road and Ipswich Town Football Club was born.

It is the second board of its kind to be pulled together by The Broomhill Pool Trust, which unveiled its first Legend of Ipswich interpretation board on Westwood Avenue in May. It includes historic town icons James Reid Moir and Sir Anthony Wingfield, as well as information on Brooks Hall.

The trust hopes to have the Broomhill lido up and running again in 2018.

Trust chairman Mark Ling said: “The pool restoration is proceeding, but we are keen to ensure that the heritage and culture of the area is captured in as much detail as possible. The more we have dug, the more we have found.

“We grew up with these people and you take it for granted. I used to go to the shops and Sir Alf Ramsey would be buying a paper, or Sir Bobby Robson would be walking his dogs in the park.

“You think ‘where does the name of Sherrington Road come from?’ You research and you find out Ipswich had a Nobel Prize winner.

“They were involved in the formation of ITFC and their first ever match was at Broom Hill.

“Before you know it you have realised that the area has got this massive history which is incredibly inspiring. You see that the area has produced some huge talent.

“It’s 50 years since we won the World Cup in 1966. In typical Ipswich style we never make enough of it when you see what he [Sir Alf Ramsey] achieved. We wanted to coincide with the 50th anniversary.”

The Legends of Ipswich interpretation board was compiled with support from the Ipswich Maritime Trust, Ipswich School, ITFC, Pride of Anglia, Ipswich Borough Council, the Ipswich Society and relatives of those included on the boards.

It will be unveiled at 2pm on Saturday, September 10, as part of the Heritage Open Days festival.