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Town fan leave with high hopes

PUBLISHED: 11:36 26 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

TRACTOR Boy was up early today to see off the crowds heading to Moscow.

He arrived at Portman Road to wave off part of the 900 fans expected to hit the Russian capital for tomorrow's vital UEFA Cup first round second leg clash against Torpedo Moscow at just after 6.

TRACTOR Boy was up early today to see off the crowds heading to Moscow.

He arrived at Portman Road to wave off part of the 900 fans expected to hit the Russian capital for tomorrow's vital UEFA Cup first round second leg clash against Torpedo Moscow at just after 6.30am.

The Super Blues need to win or at get a score draw of 2-2 or more to progress to the next round.

But the mascot, who has been seen in Ipswich throughout this season, found that most Blues supporters were confident of a famous victory.

Steadily gaining a cult following Tractor Boy managed to hijack a coach today, but was told there was no room. He had thought about travelling himself, but would have had to leave last month on his tractor to make the game in time.

The fans are due to catch a plane from Stansted to fly them to Moscow, before spending a day in the city before the big game. It kicks off at 6pm British time and is being shown on Channel 5.

Robert Harvey and Stephen Rushbrook, from Needham Market, just made the coach in time, arriving at Portman Road just before 7am.

Robert said: "I am reasonably confident we will do well. I think it will be 3-1 to Town. At least I hope it is. We want to continue going to Europe."

Tractor Boy found that most supporters were not put off by the long haul, with some fans determined to make a holiday out of it. Others were flying out today and planned to fly back straight after the game.

Town players are already in Russia, which is currently experiencing similar weather conditions to East Anglia.

Ardent Town fans Di Dingley and her daughter Angie Lewis, from Bury St Edmunds also predicted an Ipswich win.

Dressed from head to toe in Town kit, Di pleaded: "Can we have our picture taken with the Tractor Boy? Please! We go everywhere to watch Ipswich!"

The Lord family also arrived early to take their seats. Mum and Dad Glenda and Peter, with daughter Emma predicted a 2-1 scoreline to Town.

Peter said: "I think we'll do it. I'm quietly confident we can do well."

N For the best coverage of Ipswich Town's game against Torpedo Moscow, don't forget to buy Friday's Evening Star.

Read about reporter Dave Allard's brush with Russian security on page 38.

You can also read a minute-by-minute account of the game, as it happens, on www.premierblues.co.uk

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