No silence for McGarry

IPSWICH Town fans today reacted with surprise and disappointment that the club is not prepared to honour former boss Bill McGarry with a minute's silence and black armbands at the next home match.

IPSWICH Town fans today reacted with surprise and disappointment that the club is not prepared to honour former boss Bill McGarry with a minute's silence and black armbands at the next home match.

McGarry took the club from the second division into the old first division in 1967, and laid the foundations for the legendary Bobby Robson side by signing players like Mick Mills, Colin Viljoen, and Trevor Whymark.

However he angered Town fans by walking away from the club in 1968 to take over at Wolves, saying the West Midlands club had "more potential".

But despite this, many older fans still remember his time at the helm with affection and are very grateful for his reversing the decline he inherited in 1964 to take the team back to the big time.

Club chairman David Sheepshanks said: "We are very sad to hear of the death of Bill McGarry and on behalf of everyone connected with Ipswich Town Football Club would like to express our condolences and send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

"Bill McGarry served this Club well as a Manager from 1964-1968, culminating in promotion to the old First Division before leaving us to become the Manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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"As a mark of respect the Club's flags will fly at half-mast for 24 hours."

However the club statement said there would be no black armbands and no minute's silence before the next home match, against Derby on April 2.

Colin Kreidewolf helped found the Ipswich Town First supporters' trust and has been a keen fan for 40 years.

He remembers seeing Colin Viljoen's debut as a 17-year-old when he scored a hat-trick for McGarry's team.

"I'm really quite surprised that the club isn't having a minute's silence as a mark of respect.

"I know he left under a cloud, but he is one of a small group of managers who brought the club up into the top division and I really would have thought a minute's silence would be appropriate.

"We had a minute's silence for the former Wigan manager Harry McNally earlier in the season, so I don't think it's too much to expect the club to honour one of our more successful managers," Mr Kreidewolf said.

A club spokeswoman said today that the club felt the next home match was too far away for a silent tribute to be appropriate. She did not know whether Gillingham had been asked to mark Bill McGarry's death.

The decision had been taken by Mr Sheepshanks, she said.

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