Alan honoured to be at Ipswich

ALAN Lee today confirmed the honour players feel in representing Ipswich Town.And why more success cannot be too far round the corner for a club he calls “special”.

By Elvin King

ALAN Lee today confirmed the honour players feel in representing Ipswich Town.

And why more success cannot be too far round the corner for a club he calls “special”.

Striker Lee scored one of the goals in Saturday's Richard Naylor testimonial when players who won the club promotion to the Premiership in 2000 returned to grace Portman Road.

“If proof was needed what a special club this is then I found it at the weekend,” said Lee, who joined the Blues from Cardiff midway through last season.

“It is a gifted club, a special club, and it is a wonderful honour to be involved.

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“To see how much Ipswich Town still means to the players who were here six years ago was an eye opener.

“They were obviously very proud to play for the club, and I feel the same way.

“The number of former players at the game, and at Richard's testimonial dinner on Saturday night, said it all.

“There is a lovely family feeling around the club and with so much going for it another chapter of success cannot be far away.

“Having played at Rotherham and Cardiff I am still coming to terms with the wonderful facilities.

“I was 27 when I signed. I wish I had been 17 like Richard.

“I know he had a great day - and he deserved it.”

Lee is set to start Saturday's home Championship match against Southampton after forming a successful partnership with Billy Clarke up front against Queens Park Rangers in Town's last match.

They looked the best combination Ipswich have played up front since the departure of Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi.

Nearly 10,000 fans watched Saturday's 3-3 draw, while manager Jim Magilton called Naylor not only a great player but also a great team player in his charismatic speech at the evening dinner in Naylor's honour.

Chairman David Sheepshanks said that there was no one more deserving than Naylor, while the player expressed his gratitude in a well-received reply.

An auction run by Simon Milton raised more than £13,000 on Saturday night with part of the proceeds of the day going to East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

n What do you think of Alan Lee's sentiments? Are Ipswich still a special club? And what did you think of the Wembley 2000 players' return? Let us know. Star Sport letters,

30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich. Or e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk

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