Relive Town's glory years with new book

IPSWICH Town supporters could do with some light relief from the heart-break of following their current team's plight at the foot of the Championship.

Carl Marston

IPSWICH Town supporters could do with some light relief from the heart-break of following their current team's plight at the foot of the Championship.

But help is at hand, in the shape of an excellent new book charting Town's ups and downs of the 1960s, including the great days under Sir Alf Ramsey and the beginnings of a new dawn under Sir Bobby Robson.

Life-long Town supporter Terry Hunt, who has been the editor of the East Anglian Daily Times since 1996, has put together a wonderful book crammed full of previously unpublished photographs to accompany the text for this most dramatic of decades.

“Ipswich Town FC. The 1960s, from Ramsey to Robson” is earmarked to be the first in a series of books following the Portman Road club through the decades.

“As a small boy, I only liked cricket. In fact, I was a cricket nut,” explained Terry.

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“But then my good mate, Paul Scarff, from Cretingham, encouraged me to come along to the big Second Division championship battle against QPR in April, 1968.

“I was aged 11 at the time, and I loved it. I was immediately bitten by the bug, and I was soon attending my second game, when we clinched promotion against Blackburn.

“Looking back, the 1960s was a very important period for the club. It began with Sir Alf Ramsey and the championship-winning side, and ended with the beginnings of Sir Bobby Robson's magnificently significant era.

“Sandwiched in between, there were some very difficult times. There was the dreadful relegation year under Jackie Milburn, and also some poor seasons in the mid-1960s.

“Then Bill McGarry arrived, sergeant-major like, and he began the rebuilding process, with the arrival of players like Mick Mills and Colin Viljoen, and bringing back Ray Crawford. McGarry then strangely left (to join Wolves), and in came Robson.”

The photos that adorn every page of this book give a fascinating insight into the footballing world of the 1960s, before the advent of bloated wages and mind-boggling transfer fees, plus fast cars and plush executive boxes.

“We have about two million photos in our archives,” explained Terry, with reference to the archives of the East Anglian Daily Times and Evening Star.

“I didn't see any point in these old photos never being used, especially the ones of Ipswich Town. I wanted to bring them back to life.

“Those were the days when the photographer would come back from the game with a roll of film, only for one picture to be used in the following day's newspaper.

“This book is a good way to get these previously unseen pictures published.

“Football has changed so much over the years. For instance, there's a picture of keeper Ken Hancock in the book, wearing his string vest while having his flu jab (in 1966), and another of the 1967-68 squad receiving their Christmas turkeys from a local butchers!

“At this time, footballers had to take summer jobs because their money was cut during the close-season. They earned only a little bit more than the average man in the street.

“They lived in the real world,” added Terry.

The many hundreds of pictures range from Town's infamous mascot, "Swede" Herring (an Ipswich bus conductor), right through to the prolific strike force of Ted Phillips and Ray Crawford.

The memories come flooding back of a bygone time. That's why this book is a real must for all true Town fans.