Town gearing up for anniversary

PREPARATIONS for a power-packed and emotional Ipswich Town reunion were continuing today as more details were released of how fans can snap up a seat to be there.

PREPARATIONS for a power-packed and emotional Ipswich Town reunion were continuing today as more details were released of how fans can snap up a seat to be there.

Ipswich Town's "Boys of '78" - the team that beat Arsenal 1-0 at Wembley to lift the FA Cup - will join legendary manager Sir Bobby Robson for a night to remember at Ipswich's Corn Exchange.

Thirty Years of Honour - organised by The Evening Star, BBC Radio Suffolk, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Town - will take place on the evening of Bank Holiday Monday, May 5 - the day after Ipswich Town's last league game, against Hull City, at Portman Road.

Sir Bobby, recovering after another determined cancer fight, will be honoured along with his team after a day of festivities in Suffolk's county town.

After a reception at Portman Road, the 1978 party will take an open-top bus tour through the streets of Ipswich, ending at the Town Hall where 5,000 fans will be waiting on the Cornhill.

One early highlight will be when Ipswich Mayor, Inga Lockington, presents Sir Bobby with the Freedom of Ipswich, in a ceremony on the Town Hall balcony watched by his players.

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The team and Sir Bobby will be feted at a short civic reception before moving on to a sell-out gala dinner in the adjoining Corn Exchange.

Then, the Corn Exchange gallery will be opened to fans paying £40 for a ticket - and an evening of unadulterated nostalgia will unfold. More than 100 tickets were released by organisers today, on a first-come, first-served basis. These can be bought in ones and two's or multiples thereof.

These fans will join table guests in getting a re-printed programme from 1978, together with witnessing an audio-visual super show, player interviews and some poignant surprises.

Organiser Nigel Pickover, editor of The Evening Star, said:" This will be a marvellous evening for Sir Bobby and his team and we are all working flat out to ensure everything is in order for a fantastic event.

“We believe this will be the greatest reunion of them all and are delighted that more than 100 extra fans will be able to join in the emotion and fun of the evening.

"The evening is self-financing but if there are any proceeds they will go to Somebody's Daughter and Sir Bobby's own cancer crusade."

Fans can secure a ticket by calling the box office at the Corn Exchange or by e-mailing Austen Dack, event co-ordinator, at AustenDack@aol.com.

Do you want to pay tribute to Sir Bobby and the Ipswich Town team and officials of 1978? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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