Ipswich: Sir Alf Ramsey’s legacy of hope for Ipswich Town Academy youngsters

IPSWICH: He was a legend in the town.

And today the legacy of Sir Alf Ramsey is set to help young children living with cancer at a new football academy.

To mark the 12th anniversary of the former Ipswich Town manager’s death, school pupils across Suffolk are being encouraged to take part in a charity event on April 28 to raise funds to help make the dream of the academy a reality.

Youngsters can wear their favourite team’s football shirt to school on the day in return for a �1 donation to the football charity Tribute 2 a Legend.

The charity aims to empower teenagers living with cancer through football, to improve their quality of life.

As youngsters at the Ipswich Town Academy showed their support, the founder of the charity, Joe Leslie, said the aim is to open the free to use Teens Living with Cancer Legends Football Academy at the new Goals Soccer centre in Suffolk New College Drive, off Grimwade Street this summer.

“We have been looking for a unique way of honouring his memory in a respectful and fulfilling way,” he said. “This is the first day like it and we hope as many schools as possible will get on board and show their support for teens living with cancer.

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“We would love to extend the day to the rest of the town and get businesses involved, wearing their Ipswich Town shirts with pride for just �1, and it would be great if it could become an annual event.”

The academy will be open to boys and girls aged 13 to 24 years old with the emphasis on fun through football, coaching children whose life span may be shorter than others.

Mr Leslie added: “The charity came up with this idea of holding a schools Sir Alf Ramsey day which hopefully for generations to come will help keep alive his memory and legacy. What a fantastic opportunity for schools to show their support for the first legends football academy to open in Ipswich, which will carry the great man’s name this summer.”

If you would like to find out more visit www.tribute2alegend.org.uk or call 01708 707022.

n Are you one of the teenagers that will benefit from the academy? Tell us if you plan to take part in the Sir Alf Ramsey charity day. Call the newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

n Sir Alf was born in Dagenham on January 22, 1920.

n He played for Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.

n In 1948 he made his England debut against Switzerland, and went on to captain his country three times.

n He retired from playing in 1955 and became the Ipswich Town manager.

n He guided the side to the top of the old Second Division in his second season.

n And in their first season in the First Division, under Sir Alf’s leadership, the team defied expectations and claimed the title.

n In 1962 Sir Alf was made manager of England.

n In 1966 he secured his greatest triumph lifting the Jules Rimet trophy after beating arch-enemies Germany in the World Cup Final at Wembley.

n He died in Ipswich on April 28, 1999.