Next tie is Swede news for grounded fans

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 March 2010

WHEN the news that the Tractor Boys would be heading to Helsingborg in Sweden in the next round of the UEFA cup, one Ipswich family was delighted.

"We'll all be going there," said Margaret Brasher.

WHEN the news that the Tractor Boys would be heading to Helsingborg in Sweden in the next round of the UEFA cup, one Ipswich family was delighted.

"We'll all be going there," said Margaret Brasher. "And we won't need visas this time!"

As reported in yesterday's Evening Star, the family already had their bags packed for their dream trip to Moscow until a last minute phone call left it all in tatters.

Just hours before the four-strong party, mum Margaret, dad Brian, 11-year-old Kieran and brother Nathan Claxton, were due to depart they were told that Kieran's visa had not come through and the trip had to be cancelled.

But Margaret said today they would all be going to Sweden – and they went to Stansted Airport this afternoon to welcome the Tractor Boys back onto British soil after their heroics in Russia.

East Bergholt High pupil Kieran was devastated about missing the match and had even bought a new European tour Tractor Boys scarf for the occasion.

Although the family were told they would be compensated for the £1,500 trip it could not make up for missing out on soaking up the atmosphere and watching the town play away.

However, the mood in their Cherry Blossom Close home changed dramatically last night when Ipswich scored the first goal of the match – the shouts and excitement just could not be contained.

A furious and disappointed Brian even went and changed into his team shirt which he had previously refused to do.

Margaret even got a call from chairman David Sheepshanks telling them how sorry he was about the situation even though the family did not blame the club.

Mr Sheepshanks insisted that Kieran should join him on the pitch at the match on Sunday and the family are also going for a meal at the club beforehand.

Margaret said: "It is not the same watching the match at home but it is not too bad.

"The club has been brilliant and we are going for a meal there on Sunday.

"I could not believe it when I got a call from David Sheepshanks, I thought it was just someone having me on."

Elsewhere in Ipswich, life came to standstill as fans watched the match.

At just after 6pm the main streets of the town centre had turned into a ghost town while some hurried home to see the game and others nipped into the nearest pub to witness the 2-1 win over Torpedo Moscow.

More than 100 people were enjoying a drink in Ipswich pub the Cock and Pye in Upper Brook Street, surrounded by a large screen, four smaller TVs and even extra small screens on the pumps so customers did not have to miss a second while they ordered their next pint.

Die hard Blues fans were confident that the team would come up trumps despite their disappointing defeats at the beginning of the season.

Landlord Adrian Caldwell predicted that they would win 2-0 and was confident that they would do well in Europe.

Life-long fan 18-year-old Antony Glanfield also knew the team would not let the fans down.

He said: "I think they will do it this time and I think they are starting to find their form."

Another fan, who did not want to be named, was just happy to be watching the match wherever he was.

He said: "It is such a great atmosphere in here – it is almost as good as being in Moscow."

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