First look at the iconic Ipswich images going up on the Cobbold Stand
- Credit: Ross Halls
Images of iconic Ipswich Town players and moments have started to go up on the Cobbold Stand at Portman Road today.
For years, peeling, faded plastic has been an eyesore on the windows that look down on the Portman Road side of the club's stadium.
That has now been stripped clean and replaced with eye-catching pictures and words that tell the story of the club's history.
The first set of panes has the words 'Our Town, Our Team' and includes a montage of players from over the years, including recent long-serving skipper Luke Chambers and the late, great club legend Paul Mariner.
As you progress along the stand, landmark moments in the club's history are depicted from being elected to the Football League in 1938, to the First Division ('62), FA Cup ('78) and UEFA Cup ('81) glories, as well as second-tier promotions of '92 and '00.
Also referenced is the club's proud 31-game unbeaten home record in European cup competitions.
Former chairman John Cobbold, managers Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, as well as club legends Ray Crawford, Mick Mills, John Wark and George Burley have prominent imagery along the 18 sections.
Ted Phillips, Billy Baxter, Andy Nelson, John Elsworthy, Roy Bailey, Frans Thijssen, Paul Cooper, Allan Hunter, Alan Brazil, Roger Osborne, Robin Turner, David Geddis, Trevor Whymark, Brian Talbot, Terry Butcher, Russell Osman, Arnold Muhren, Eric Gates, Frank Yallop, Jason Dozzell, Simon Milton, Chris Kiwomya, Mick Stockwell, Titus Bramble, Richard Wright, Kieron Dyer, Jim Magilton, Matt Holland, Richard Naylor, Tony Mowbray, Marcus Stewart, Martjin Reuser, David Johnson and Alun Armstrong all feature along the way.
On the state of Portman Road, new Blues chief executive Mark Ashton said earlier this month: "One bit, and I try and use my words carefully, which ‘upsets’ me when I go home at night is the condition that Portman Road is in.
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“This is our home. Small things are happening like car park lines being painted, windows cleaned and bird mess removed. The stadium is starting to be cleaned.
“I’d love to be able to say to the fans that when they walk in for the first game it’s all going to be perfect. But it’s not.
“I’ve been here just a few weeks and I think it’s going to be a big financial investment for us to sort the stadium out and it’s going to take 12 to 18 months.
“It’s like when you buy an old house and you go to decorate the wall, you take the wallpaper off and the plaster comes off, there’s an old fire place there and the chimney’s fallen down. In some ways it’s like that in some areas.
“We’re embarking on a big project here to bring Portman Road up to, in my opinion, a professional standard the fans can be proud of."