True Super Blue fan reflects on the glory days of ‘81

IPSWICH: Malcolm Hannatt will never forget May 20, 1981 – the day when the dreams of thousands upon thousands of Town fans came true.

As the 30th anniversary of the Blues’ UEFA Cup triumph draws nearer, Mr Hannatt today reflects on the game which he describes as “the best match ever.”

It was on this day that Sir Bobby Robson’s team overcame Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in Amsterdam to claim the UEFA Cup.

Mr Hannatt, a dedicated Town fan, took the ferry from Felixstowe to Holland alongside his brother and two friends, before travelling to Amsterdam for the big game.

He kept many souvenirs from the glorious festivities, including flags, his admission ticket, the hat he wore to the game and cuttings from The Evening Star and sister paper the East Anglian Daily Times.

The 62-year-old, of Fletcher Road, said: “It was just the most brilliant day, we had so much fun and the atmosphere was incredible.

“It is the highlight of a players football careers and it is the highlight of my life as a fan.

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“I have never seen so many banners and flags in my life – it was such a sight.

“On the way back from the game we slept outside the captain’s door and there was so much excitement – we took over that boat with our singing.”

The true Super Blue started supporting Ipswich in the 1970s and followed them around the country for years before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

He added: “I am part of history and I kept many of the memorabilia because it is something special and something I will always remember.

“I can also give it to the grandchildren and show them what their grandad got up to.”

While Mr Hannatt reflected on his memories, other Town fans will remember the glory days during an event marking the stunning victory.

The Evening Star, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich Town have teamed up to stage a gala dinner evening –UEFA 30.

The heroes of 1981 will, on May 30, descend on the town for an emotional reunion. And the Star is offering Blues fans the opportunity to enjoy the special anniversary festivities alongside their cup idols.

Supporters and local businesses can register their interest in buying a table at the gala dinner at the town hall, which will be followed by a chance to relive the magical day when match highlights are screened and many of the players interviewed on stage.

n What are your memories of May 20, 1981? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail