Happy birthday, Eric! Our best pictures of Town legend Gates as he turns 67

35 years ago today, Eric Gates scored in Town's 2-1 win over Arsenal at Portman Road

Eric Gates, who turns 67 today, played for Ipswich Town for 12 years - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town Hall of Famer Eric Gates is 67 today - so here's a few of our favourite pictures of him to mark the occasion!

Striker Gates played for the Blues for 12 years, from 1973 to 1985, and was a key part of the golden era under Sir Bobby Robson.

He scored at a healthy rate of a goal every four games - 96 in 384 outings - making 60 appearances in the club's triumphant 1980-81 season and scoring 14 goals.

Terry Butcher, Paul Mariner, Eric Gates and Mick Mills

Terry Butcher, Paul Mariner, Eric Gates and Mick Mills - Credit: RICHARD SNASDELL

He started both legs of the famous UEFA Cup Final win over AZ Alkmaar.

Gates left the club for Sunderland in 1985 and finished his career at Carlisle in 1991.

He was inducted into Town's Hall of Fame in 2012.

Eric Gates was among the scorers on this day in 1981 as the Blues beat Leeds United at Elland Road

Gates celebrates a goal against Leeds United in 1981 - Credit: Archant

Former EADT football writer Carl Marston, when ranking Town's top strikers of the last 40 years in 2021, said of Gates: "He delivered terrific service over a dozen years, always having the knack of arriving at the right time in the box to maintain an impressive goalscoring record as a diminutive, elusive attacker.

"I used to love watching Gates. He would snap at opponent's heels and never give them a moment's rest!"

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What are your memories of Gates? Let us know below!

Eric Gates scored on this day in 1983

Gates enjoys a goal against Arsenal in 1983 - Credit: Archant

24 - Eric Gates

Eric Gates on the ball against Norwich in 1976/77 - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH TOWN ITFC TEAM PIC 1981 MARCHPIC OWEN HINES UEFA

Ipswich Town's UEFA Cup winning squad. Back row, left to right: Alan Brazil, Paul Mariner, Russell Osman, Terry Butcher, Laurie Sivell, Paul Cooper, Frans Thijssen, Kevin Steggles, Allan Hunter, Arnold Muhren. Front row, left to right: Bobby Robson (manager), Eric Gates, John Wark, Mick Mills (captain), Kevin Beattie, Kevin O'Callaghan, Steve McCall and Bobby Ferguson (coach). - Credit: Archant

(from left) Kevin O'Callaghan, Paul Cooper, Alan Brazil and Eric Gates take a stroll around St Etien

(from left) Kevin O'Callaghan, Paul Cooper, Alan Brazil and Eric Gates take a stroll around St Etienne before the big game IPSWICH TOWN - Credit: Archant

Eric Gates on the ball during Town's 5-0 home win over Widzew Lodz, in the third round of the UEFA C

Gates on the ball in the UEFA Cup in 1981 - Credit: Archant

Eric Gates scored on this day in 1977 in Town's win over Las Palmas

Gates celebrates a goal against Las Palmas in 1977 - Credit: Archant

Eric Gates celebrates his goal with his Ipswich Town team-mates as the blues beat Southamtpon 3-0 at

Eric Gates celebrates his goal with his Ipswich Town team-mates as the blues beat Southamtpon 3-0 at Portman Road in November 1979 - Credit: Archant

In 1984, Eric Gates scored as the Blues drew 1-1 with QPR

In 1984, Eric Gates scored as the Blues drew 1-1 with QPR - Credit: Archant

Is Big Al's pipe a joke? Town players are in good spirits as they leave by coach to take on Leeds in

Is Big Al's pipe a joke? Town players are in good spirits as they leave by coach to take on Leeds in one of the epic FA Cup quarter-final replays at Leicester in March 1975. The players pictured are: Kevin Beattie, Eric Gates, Paul Cooper, Laurie Sivell, Clive Woods, Roger Osborne and (seated) Allan Hunter and a rather amused Colin Viljoen. - Credit: Archant

Mick Mills leads out the Ipswich Town team for the first leg of the UEFA Cup semi-final against Colo

Mick Mills leads out the Ipswich Town team for the first leg of the UEFA Cup semi-final against Cologne at Portman Road in April 1981. He is followed by Ipswich players Paul Cooper, Alan Brazil, Arnold Muhren, Eric Gates, Frans Thijssen, John Wark, Steve McCall, Russell Osman and Terry Butcher. Not in picture: Paul Mariner Photograph: EADT - Credit: Archant