Two super Blues veterans die within days

IPSWICH Town Football Club has lost two of its longest-serving supporters in the space of a few days.

Elliot Furniss

IPSWICH Town Football Club has lost two of its longest-serving supporters in the space of a few days.

Between them, Jack Dash, from Martlesham, and Pat Smith, from Grundisburgh, backed the blues for more than 150 years, attending hundreds of matches at their beloved Portman Road.

Mr Dash, who for many years lived in Woodbridge and worked for Notcutts, died at the wheel of his car on his way home from Saturday's match against Blackpool, he was 90.

His sister-in-law Gillian Jacobson, who lives in Kesgrave, said he had been among a select group of six fans invited to Portman Road in the summer to be honoured for their dedication over the years.

She said: “He had a wonderful day there; it was just saddened by the death of Sir Bobby Robson. He would have been 91 on December 23. Unfortunately he lost my sister Jenifer five years ago to cancer. They were married for over 30 years.”

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She said he had enjoyed supporting the club through the glory days and the times of struggle and was never one to criticise the team or the management.

She said: “He was always there, no matter what the weather - even at his age he used to go to the night matches.

“Some Sundays he would come around to me and if they had lost he would say 'they played badly' but he was always there and he always used to say the managers were right - he never moaned about them or the players.”

Mrs Smith was 82 when she died last week and had been a Town fan for nearly 75 years.

She was born in Ipswich in 1927 and grew up as a big Blues fan, but moved with her young family to London in the 1950s.

She and her husband Geoff moved back to Suffolk in 2001 but she had been struggling with illness in recent years, fighting breast cancer last year. She died on December 8.

Her son John Ashley-Smith, 58, a self employed builder who lives in London, said she was a passionate fan, unwavering in her support even in the bleakest of times.

He said: “She was very disappointed when they weren't winning but always stood by them - she never criticised the team and was very supportive of the manager. She went to the first home match of the season but hadn't been able to get there since then. It was pretty sad because she absolutely loved it.

“She would listen on the radio and whenever they were on TV she would watch and she'd keep up with the results every week.

“She was a member of the disabled supporters' club and sat at the top behind the goal in the South Stand with her friends in the disabled bay and often roared them on.”