Town legend calls for Sir Alf tribute

A STAR of Ipswich's 1962 Championship winning team today urged bosses at the new Wembley Stadium to unveil a statue of former Town and England manager Sir Alf Ramsey.

A STAR of Ipswich's 1962 Championship winning team today urged bosses at the new Wembley Stadium to unveil a statue of former Town and England manager Sir Alf Ramsey.

Sir Alf, who famously guided the Blues to the league title in 1962 before leading the national team to World Cup glory four years later, is already immortalised at Portman Road.

Now, John Elsworthy, who formed a central part of the Town side during the 50s and 60s, called for a similar tribute at the £800million stadium.

His calls come not long after Football Association chiefs unveiled a statue of 1966 captain Sir Bobby Moore, which is situated in Wembley Way, and amid mounting speculation that a statue of Sir Alf could be next.

Mr Elsworthy, of Rushmere St Andrew, said: “I think a statue of Sir Alf is an excellent idea.

“He gave a tremendous service to the game - more so than Bobby Moore, because he was a great player and a great manager.

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“His knowledge of the game was great and he instilled it into his players. He made us play practice matches touching the ball three times which made you think very quickly. That sort of thing was rare in those days, nobody else did it.

“He made so many players. Bobby Moore was a prime example, and Jimmy Greaves, too. Sir Alf made them better players. He was crafty - he would improve every player by five per cent.

“He was extraordinary, out of this world, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ipswich. It was a pleasure playing for him.

“Sir Alf was admired by everybody, he was an idol and you will never get a manager like him again.”

Wembley Stadium was unavailable to comment today but there are rumours that talks are on going with Philip Jackson, the creator of the Moore statue, after Lady Ramsey gave her consent to the idea.

Ipswich's statue of Sir Alf has loomed over Portman Road since sculpture Sean Hedges-Quinn unveiled it in 2000. It was followed by a statue of Sir Bobby Robson in 2002.

What do you think of the idea? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Fast Facts: Sir Alf Ramsey

Born in Dagenham in 1920.

Played for Southampton and Tottenham, winning 32 England caps in the process.

Became Town manager in 1955.

Steered Ipswich to their only top flight Championship in 1962.

Made England boss in 1963.

Knighted in 1967 for his role in England's World Cup success before leaving the international football scene in 1974.

Did you know?

Sir Norman Foster, the architect who designed the new Wembley Stadium, also designed the dark-glassed Willis building in Ipswich's Friars Street.

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