Ipswich Town photo from 1885 recreated at Ipswich School with help from Italian supporters branch
- Credit: Archant
Nostalgia plays a central role in football. From reliving the glory days at the pub with friends or watching a grainy documentary, it is an essential part of being a supporter.
That’s what brought together six members of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town supporters club, Ipswich School teacher and local councillor Alasdair Ross, and two members of the local press last Friday afternoon.
They gathered to recreate one of the oldest known photographs of the Ipswich Association Football Club, formed in 1878 by a group of Ipswich School alumni and the foundation of Ipswich Town Football Club. The photograph is thought to date back to 1885.
The heritage event was the latest part of a new initiative by the ITFC Supporters Club to celebrate the club’s history.
It was driven by football history expert Simone Longo, who has been chair of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town supporters club for 10 years.
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He said: “I’m fascinated by the study of all football clubs, in particular the teams I support.
“So I investigated Ipswich Town’s foundation and two years ago I went to Broomhill Park where they used to play and to the Inkerman pub which was the changing room at that time. This is the first time I’ve been to Ipswich School.”
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The Ipswich Association Football Club was formed on October 16, 1878 with matches played at Brooks Hall, off the Norwich Road. The Ipswich Football Club, who played rugby at Portman Road, merged with the soccer club in 1888.
Ipswich Town Football Club turned professional in 1936.
Mr Longo, who visits Portman Road two or three times a year, said the jerseys sported in the 2017 version of the photograph were hand-made by a friend and tailor.
“It was easy to realise them because it was a classic shirt,” he said. “The crests on each shirt aren’t the same as they were embroidered by hand.”
The branch is based in Milan and has around 50 members.
He explained how he came to support the Blues: “First because my big brother Claudio, who is 15 years older than me, he remembered the Bobby Robson era very well. After that, in 2001, I went to watch Ipswich at the San Siro in the UEFA Cup match against Inter and from that moment I’ve supported Ipswich. It is a nice family-friendly club.”