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On this day in Ipswich Town’s history: Famous UEFA Cup winning campaign begins with a big bang

PUBLISHED: 11:04 17 September 2020

John Wark scored four as Town  beat Greek side Aris Salonika 5-1 on September 17, 1980

John Wark scored four as Town beat Greek side Aris Salonika 5-1 on September 17, 1980

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In this regular feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history, selecting one particular year, this time from 40 years ago and the start of Town’s famous UEFA Cup winning campaign, against Aris Salonika.

John Wark on the ball against Aris Salonika in the UEFA Cup at Portman Road from exactly 40 years ago. Wark bagged four goals.John Wark on the ball against Aris Salonika in the UEFA Cup at Portman Road from exactly 40 years ago. Wark bagged four goals.

Over the next few weeks and months, we will be tracing Ipswich Town’s terrific UEFA Cup run, which culminated in skipper Mick Mills lifting the trophy after beating AZ ‘67 (AZ Alkmaar) in the two-legged final the following May.

But how did it all start?

Well, it started 40 years ago, to the day, when John Wark scored not once, not twice, not thrice but four times in a 5-1 thumping of Greek opposition Aris Salonika, in front of a Portman Road crowd of 20,842, in a one-sided first leg.

It was a feisty occasion, which suited Bobby Robson’s Ipswich down to the ground.

Paul Mariner congratulates goalscorer John Wark, as, Town began their route to the UEFA Cup final with a 5-1 win over Greek side Aris SalonikaPaul Mariner congratulates goalscorer John Wark, as, Town began their route to the UEFA Cup final with a 5-1 win over Greek side Aris Salonika

That resulted in the visitors’ Giorgos Foiros sent off for a second bookable offence, before the end of the first half, which gave Town a big advantage.

Greek indiscipline saw Town win three penalties on the night, all of them successfully converted by John Wark.

- Match report of Town’s 1-0 home defeat to Fulham in the EFL Cup

Mick Mills shakes hands with the Aris Salonkia captain before the UEFA Cup game in September 1980Mick Mills shakes hands with the Aris Salonkia captain before the UEFA Cup game in September 1980

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An on-song Wark also scored a goal from open play in the first half, to make it four in total for him and five for Town.

It was 3-0 inside the first half-hour, Wark helping himself to a hat-trick with two penalties (12 and 29) sandwiching a goal on 15 minutes.

Paul Mariner scored on the hour mark before Wark swept home his third spot kick of the night on 81 minutes.

Aris also scored a penalty on a night of high drama, Theodoros Pallas on target with what proved to be only a consolation goal.

A fortnight later, Town lost 3-1 in Greece in the return leg, but eased through to the next round 6-4 on aggregate to set up a meeting with Bohemians of Prague.

- On this day in Ipswich Town’s history: David McGoldrick was ‘outstanding’

Remarkably Wark, who top scored with 18 league goals in the top flight, scored 36 goals in all competitions that season.

TOWN: Cooper, Burley, Osman, Butcher, Mills, Wark, Thijssen, Muhren (sub Beattie, 75), Brazil (sub O’Callaghan, 75), Mariner, Gates,


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