Tributes paid to Town legend Leadbetter

TRIBUTES have been paid to Jimmy Leadbetter, a key member of Alf Ramsey's Division One Championship winning team of 1961-62.Leadbetter, fondly known as Sticks by Town fans, has died at the age of 78 after he collapsed on the stairs at his Edinburgh home.

TRIBUTES have been paid to Jimmy Leadbetter, a key member of Alf Ramsey's Division One Championship winning team of 1961-62.

Leadbetter, fondly known as Sticks by Town fans, has died at the age of 78 after he collapsed on the stairs at his Edinburgh home.

John Elsworthy, who played at left-half for Ipswich alongside Leadbetter, said: “It is terrible news. It is very sad.

“He was a tough fellow and one imagined that he would go on for ever.


You may also want to watch:


“Jimmy and Roy Stephenson made me as a player. Both were inside-forwards switched to the wing by Alf Ramsey. Roy Bailey would throw them the ball which gave me the chance to push forward.”

Ted Phillips, a striker who thrived on the service from the left provided by Leadbetter, said: “He was a good old boy. This is a very sad day.

Most Read

“He made me as a footballer. I last saw him at the players' reunion dinner last year. He did not make the one at the end of last season.”

Phillips scored 41 goals in Division Three (South) in 1956-57, 30 in 40 games in the Second Division Championship season and 28 goals in 40 games when Town became Division One champions at the first attempt. Leadbetter created a high percentage of the openings.

Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks said: “It was with immense sadness that we learned of the sad passing of one of our great former heroes.

“Jimmy played an integral part in Alf Ramsey's 1961-62 championship side and has since stayed in regular touch with the club, attending many of the annual ex-players' reunions.”

Leadbetter had recently undergone an intestinal operation during which he had a mild heart attack.

A heart scan suggested he was making a good recovery. He had been able to play golf until last month.

Leadbetter arrived at Portman Road from Brighton and Hove Albion as an inside-forward just over three weeks before the appointment of Alf Ramsey as manager in August 1955.

He played only one first team match before the following December but then secured the outside-left role from George McLuckie and never looked back.

He won Division Three (South), Division Two and Division One Championship medals. Division One corresponded to the Premiership of today.

Leadbetter, who made 375 first-team appearances of which 344 were in the league, scored 49 goals and set up many more.

He left Portman Road at the age of 36 following the arrival of Bill McGarry as manager in the 1964-65 season. Leadbetter had a spell at Sudbury Town before returning to Scotland and had been retired for some years.

He leaves a widow, Janet, and daughter Shirley.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter