Town says farewell to much-loved Dale

TODAY was a sombre day in the world of football as stars from past and present and dignitaries from Ipswich Town said goodbye to a man who was described as blue and white from head to toe.

TODAY was a sombre day in the world of football as stars from past and present and dignitaries from Ipswich Town said goodbye to a man who was described as blue and white from head to toe.

Much loved and respected Town assistant manager, Dale Roberts was finally laid to rest after a battle against cancer.

He died last Wednesday after a year long fight against Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma leaving everyone who knew him devastated.

A memorial service was due to be held at St. Augustine's Church in Felixstowe Road following a private family funeral.

Dale was known throughout footballing circles as a devoted and sincere man who had risen from the youth team at Ipswich Town to play in a side that was emerging as one of the best in Europe.

He was a member of the youth team when they won the coveted FA Youth Cup in 1973 and 1975.

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Newcastle born Dale moved away from Ipswich to play for Hull City in 1979 but moved back to the town in 1994 to work with George Burley who he had been friends with since they were 16 years old.

At Ipswich he was his right hand man and also his best friend.

During his career at Ipswich Town he was a player, a coach and an assistant manager and was loved by all those who knew him.

Originally from Newcastle, he was fittingly given his debut for Town by Sir Bobby Robson.

When he died tributes flooded in from managers and footballers who knew him, including Sir Bobby who was distraught by his death.

Throughout Dale's year-long illness he had constantly been supported by everyone at Ipswich Town and is widely acknowledged for the bravery and courage with which he fought the illness.

Even though he had to hand over some of his responsibilities for the team, in his last full season he was proud to lift the Premier Reserve League Southern Section trophy after the team were victorious against Derby at Portman Road.

Dale leaves his wife Cheryl and two sons, Mark and Tommy.

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