Ipswich Town Open Day delights fans
PUBLISHED: 16:21 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:21 25 July 2019
Hundreds lined the streets around Portman Road eagerly awaiting this year's extra sunny Ipswich Town Open Day.
As the gates opened at 9.15am, crowds flocked for the chance to meet their favourite players, get autographs and watch Paul Lambert's men take to the pitch for the first time since May.
Fans young and old relished in the opportunity to meet their blue-shirted heroes while basking in glorious summer sun, as temperatures topped 30C.
Behind the East of England Co-Op stand in the FanZone, families enjoyed games of football and timed challenges, with stalls holding games and selling official ITFC and Blue Action merchandise.
Clacton-based fan Don Welsh made the trip from Tendring to see the Blues train.
"The open day is fantastic," he said. "I come every year and it's like the start of my season really.
"It is a lovely occasion - a real family feel - and it really shows you the potential of this football club.
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"I like the feeling of community, we get to meet the players and the youngsters get autographs, you wouldn't get this at bigger clubs - it is a great thing to have."
Heath Harrison, aged seven, had a "fantastic" day and loved having the opportunity to meet his favourite player, Bartosz Bialkowski.
"We've just been to get autographs," he said. "I'm looking forward to going to get a new shirt now."
The optimistic young blue also tipped Town to win the league next season, thanks to star man Bart between the sticks - while even Manchester United-loving grandad Harry admitted enjoying the day.
But despite the fun and the bright blue skies, a dark cloud loomed over many with the mystery shrouding star player Alan Judge, who has been rumoured to be leaving the Blues for QPR.
Aspiring Ipswich Town YouTuber Regan Tuck, 13, visited with his family and said: "I'm looking forward to the training session and trying to figure out what's going on beyond the scenes for next season."
Regarding the transfer mystery, he added: "He's one of my favourite players, he's very creative and well-known.
"I don't want to see him go, but if we can put a decent price tag on him then it could be worth it."