Ipswich Town F.C.

Ipswich Town Football Club is a professional football club based in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. They will compete in the 2024–25 Premier League, the top tier of English football, following successive promotions from the 2022–23 EFL League One and 2023–24 EFL Championship, both as runners-up.

Ipswich Town
Full nameIpswich Town Football Club
Nickname(s)The Blues, The Tractor Boys
Founded16 October 1878; 145 years ago (16 October 1878)
GroundPortman Road
Capacity29,673[1]
OwnerGamechanger 20 Ltd.
ChairmanMike O'Leary
ManagerKieran McKenna
LeaguePremier League
2023–24EFL Championship, 2nd of 24 (promoted)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Ipswich Town were founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936; the club was elected to the Football League in 1938. Ipswich won the league title in 1961–62, their first season in the top flight, and finished runners-up in 1980–81 and 1981–82. They finished in the top six in the First Division for ten years, and won the FA Cup in 1978 and UEFA Cup in 1981. They have never lost at home in European competition, having defeated teams such as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Lazio and Barcelona.[2]

Ipswich play their home games at Portman Road. They have a long-standing rivalry with Norwich City, against whom they contest the East Anglian derby.[3] The club's traditional home colours are blue shirts with white shorts and blue socks.

History

Early years and entry to the Football League (1878–1954)

The club was founded as an amateur side in 1878 and were known as Ipswich A.F.C. until 1888 when they merged with Ipswich Rugby Club to form Ipswich Town Football Club.[4] The team won a number of local cup competitions, including the Suffolk Challenge Cup and the Suffolk Senior Cup.[5] After playing in the Norfolk & Suffolk League from 1899 and the South East Anglian League between 1903 and 1906, they joined the Southern Amateur League in 1907 and, with results improving steadily, became champions in the 1921–22 season.[6] The club won the league a further three times, in 1929–30, 1932–33 and 1933–34, before becoming founder members of the Eastern Counties Football League at the end of the 1934–35 season. A year later, the club turned professional and joined the Southern League, which they won in its first season and finished third in the next.[7]

Ipswich were elected to the Football League on 30 May 1938, and played in the Third Division South until the end of the 1953–54 season, when they won the title and promotion to the Second Division.

Promotion and First Division success (1954–1963)

The club were immediately relegated back to the Third Division South the following year at the end of a poor season, but made better progress after Scott Duncan was replaced as team manager by Alf Ramsey in August 1955. The club won the Third Division South title again in 1956–57, and returned to the higher division. This time, Ipswich established themselves in the Second Division, and as the division champions, won promotion to the top level of English football, the First Division, in 1960–61.[7]

Ipswich – AC Milan 1962–63 European Cup programme, on display at the San Siro museum in 2005

In the top flight for the first time, Ipswich became champions of the Football League at the first attempt in 1961–62.[7][8][9] As English league champions, they qualified for the 1962–63 European Cup, defeating Maltese side Floriana 14–1 on aggregate before losing to AC Milan.[7] Ramsey left the club in April 1963 to take charge of the England national team. Under his leadership the England team won the 1966 World Cup. He received a knighthood for "services to football" in 1967.[10]

Decline and revival after Ramsey (1963–1969)

Ramsey was replaced by Jackie Milburn,[7] under whose leadership fortunes on the pitch plummeted. Two years after winning the league title, Ipswich slipped down to the Second Division in 1964, conceding 121 league goals in 42 games – one of the worst-ever defensive records in English senior football.[11] Milburn quit after just one full season and was replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964.[7] The club remained in the Second Division for four years until McGarry guided Ipswich to promotion along with his assistant Sammy Chung in the 1967–68 season, winning the division by a single point ahead of Queens Park Rangers.[12] During the summer of 1968 Steve Stacey signed from fourth division Wrexham who went on to make his debut on 14 September 1968 becoming the first black player to represent the club in the football league.[13] McGarry left to manage Wolves and was replaced by Bobby Robson in January 1969.[7]

Statue of Sir Alf Ramsey at Portman Road

The Bobby Robson era (1969–1982)

Robson led Ipswich to two major trophies and several seasons in top flight European football. The successful period began in 1973 when the club won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league, qualifying for the UEFA Cup for the first time. In the 1974–75 season they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time, losing to West Ham United after a replay, and finished third in the league. By the late 1970s, Robson had built a strong side with talent in every department, introducing the Dutch pair Arnold Mühren and Frans Thijssen to add flair to a team that featured British internationals including John Wark, Terry Butcher and Paul Mariner, although the Ipswich squad perhaps lacked the depth of established big clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United. Ipswich regularly featured in the top five of the league and in the UEFA Cup. At their peak in the 1979–80 season, they beat Manchester United 6–0 in a league game at Portman Road, a game where United goalkeeper Gary Bailey also saved three penalties. The defeat cost United two points – the margin which eventually separated them and champions Liverpool.[14] Major success came in 1978 when Ipswich beat Arsenal at Wembley Stadium to win their only FA Cup trophy.[15] The triumph was followed by almost winning the triple in 1980–81. Ipswich led the top division for most of the season and were on course to win a second league title plus FA Cup and European honours. However, injuries and fixture congestion (a squad of thirteen players played over sixty matches) took its toll and Ipswich ultimately came runners up to Aston Villa (a side they had beaten home and away in the league and in the FA Cup) and were semi-finalists in the FA Cup. Ipswich did win the UEFA Cup, however, in 1981 with a 5–4 victory over AZ Alkmaar in the two-legged final. The run to the final included a 4–1 win at St Etienne, captained by Michel Platini.[16] The club also finished league runners-up in the subsequent 1981/82 season.[17][18][19]

Statue of Sir Bobby Robson at Portman Road

Robson's success with Ipswich attracted the attention of many bigger clubs, and he was linked with the Manchester United job when Dave Sexton was sacked in May 1981, but the job went to Ron Atkinson instead. The Football Association lured Robson away from Portman Road a year later, when he accepted their offer to manage the England national team in July 1982.

Relegation after Robson and promotion under Lyall (1982–1994)

Robson's successor at Ipswich was his assistant manager Bobby Ferguson.[7] Under Ferguson, Town finished mid-table twice,[20][21] but worsening performances meant that they began to struggle in the top division. The recent construction of an expensive new stand at Portman Road limited the club's budget, despite the money gaining from sales of key players including Thijssen and Wark.

Ipswich were finally relegated to the Second Division at the end of the 1985–86 season. Butcher, the last remaining key player from the successful 1981 team, was sold to Rangers that summer.[22][23] Ferguson, who had remained in charge despite the relegation, left the club in May 1987 after his contract expired, following Ipswich's failure to return to the First Division.[7] Ipswich Town were then managed by John Duncan for three years until he was replaced by former West Ham United boss John Lyall in May 1990, with Ipswich still in the Second Division.[24] Lyall guided Ipswich to the Second Division title and promotion to the new FA Premier League, ready for the 1992–93 season.[25] Suffering only two league defeats before the New Year,[26] Ipswich started the season well and were fourth in the Premier League in January 1993, but a dip in form during the final weeks of the season saw them finish 16th.[27] Poor form continued into the following season and Ipswich only avoided relegation that year when Sheffield United suffered a 3–2 defeat at Chelsea on the final day of the season.[25] Six months later, fortunes on the pitch had not improved, and Lyall was sacked in December 1994 with the club bottom of the Premiership.

Relegation and revival under George Burley (1994–2002)

Lyall's successor, George Burley, was unable to turn team performances around, and Ipswich were dealt a Premiership record defeat, 9–0, at Manchester United, on their way to relegation.[28][29] Back in the second tier of the league, Burley led the club to three consecutive promotion playoffs, but they were to endure defeats in all three semi-finals. Ipswich finally returned to the Premiership in 2000 after coming from behind to beat Barnsley 4–2 in the last Division One playoff final at Wembley Stadium.[7] Ipswich performed well in the Premiership in their first season with Burley's side finishing in an impressive fifth place—being pipped by Liverpool on the last day of the season for a place in the Champions League. Consolation was a UEFA Cup place and FA Premier League Manager of the Year Award for Burley.[30]

However, the following season was not so successful. The team took only one win in their opening seventeen league games, leaving them bottom in December. Despite a good run of form in January and February, Burley could not save the club from relegation back to the Championship at the end of the season. The loss of income due to relegation also led to the club going into financial administration.[31] There was the minor consolation of again qualifying for the UEFA Cup, this time via the UEFA Fair Play ranking, and Ipswich survived two ties before losing in the second round proper to Czech side Slovan Liberec.[32] A slow start to the season, culminating in a 0–3 defeat at struggling Grimsby Town, meant that Burley was sacked in October 2002 after nearly eight years as manager.[33]

Years in the Championship (2002–2019)

First team coach Tony Mowbray was given four matches as caretaker manager, winning once, but he was ultimately replaced as manager by the former Oldham Athletic, Everton and Manchester City manager Joe Royle, who had played for local rival Norwich City.[34] Royle inherited a side struggling near the Division One relegation zone, but revived fortunes such that the team narrowly failed to reach the playoffs.[35] The 2003–04 season saw the club come out of administration and continue to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League.[36] They finished that season in fifth, but were defeated in the playoff semi-finals by West Ham United.[37]

Narrowly missing automatic promotion in 2004–05, Royle again took Ipswich to the play-offs, but once more they lost to West Ham United in the semi-finals.[38] 2005–06 saw Ipswich finish in 15th place—the club's lowest finish since 1966.[39] Joe Royle resigned by mutual consent on 11 May 2006,[40] and a month later, Jim Magilton was officially announced as the new manager.[41] In November 2007, the club were involved in takeover discussions with both businessman Marcus Evans and former Birmingham City director David Sullivan.[42][43] In December 2007, Evans completed his takeover of the club, purchasing an 87.5% stake in the club, investing around £44 million, which included the purchase of the club's existing £32 million debt.[44] The club agreed a sponsorship deal with the Marcus Evans Group on 20 May 2008, lasting until 2018, the longest in the club's history.[45]

After failing to reach the playoffs despite substantial investment, Magilton was sacked in April 2009, and new Chief Executive Simon Clegg replaced him with former Manchester United player, Roy Keane.[46] Keane's spell as manager came to an end after an unsuccessful 18 months, when he was sacked in January 2011, to be replaced briefly by Ian McParland in a caretaker role before Paul Jewell took the reins on a permanent basis.[47] A poor start to the 2012/13 season with Ipswich bottom of the Championship after winning only one of their first twelve games, led to Jewell leaving his position on 24 October 2012 by mutual consent.[48]

He was replaced temporarily by Chris Hutchings for a single match in a caretaker role, before former Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was appointed full-time on 1 November 2012.[49] McCarthy led Ipswich to avoid relegation, taking them from bottom of the league in November to finish in 14th position.[50] The following season produced a 9th-place finish [51] and in the 2014–15 season a 6th place and play-off finish – though the club lost in the semi-finals to local rivals Norwich City 4–2 on aggregate.[52] Ipswich ended the 2016–17 season in 16th place, their lowest finish since the 1958–59 season.[53] McCarthy announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the 2017–18 season on 23 March 2018, though he ultimately left the role early with four games to go.[54] He was replaced until the end of the season by Bryan Klug as a caretaker manager and Ipswich finished the season in 12th.[55]

On 30 May 2018, Paul Hurst was announced as the new manager of the club on a three-year contract.[56] However, after a poor start to the season and with the team bottom of the table, Hurst was sacked in October 2018 after less than five months in charge – making him the shortest serving manager in the club's history.[57] He was replaced by former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert, but he was unable to prevent relegation to League One at the end of the 2018–19 season, ending Ipswich's 63-year stay in the top two tiers of English football.[58]

League One and rise to the Premier League (2019–present)

Kieran McKenna was appointed as manager of Ipswich Town in December 2021.

Lambert remained as manager following relegation to take charge of Ipswich's first season in the third tier since 1957. Ipswich finished the season in 11th place, the club's lowest finish since 1953. The standings were decided by points-per-game due to the season's suspension in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[59] After failing to mount a promotion challenge during the following season, Lambert left the club by mutual consent on 28 February 2021.[60] Former Wigan boss Paul Cook was appointed as his replacement three days later.[61]

On 7 April 2021, the club announced that US investment group Gamechanger 20 Limited had purchased a majority stake in the club. The consortium was made up of Ohio-based investment group ORG Portfolio Management, the "Three Lions Fund" (made up of three Phoenix Rising FC board members) and former owner Marcus Evans, who remained as a minority shareholder.[62] Mike O'Leary, former West Bromwich Albion chief executive, was appointed as the club's chairman following the acquisition.[63]

Ipswich finished the 2020–21 season in 9th place, three positions outside the play-offs.[64] Expectations were high ahead of the following season, but following a series of disappointing results, Cook was sacked in December 2021.[65] On 16 December 2021, Kieran McKenna, first-team coach at Manchester United, was appointed to replace Cook.[66] Ipswich finished the 2021–22 season in 11th place.[67]

Kieran McKenna and players celebrate on the pitch after Ipswich Town seal back-to-back promotions in May 2024.

With McKenna's first full season in charge, the following season proved more successful. Following an undefeated streak of 18 league games, and breaking several club records, Ipswich were promoted back to the Championship as runners-up.[68] Ipswich finished the 2022–23 season in second place, with 98 points and scoring 101 league goals.[69]

Ipswich enjoyed a quick but memorable return to the Championship. During the last matchday of the 2023–24 season they achieved back-to-back promotions, becoming the fifth team to do so, and were promoted as runners-up to end their 22-year absence from the top tier.[70] They sealed the runner-up spot with 96 points, boasting the highest goal tally of 92 in total.[71][72]

Crest and colours

Crest used from 1972 to 1995

Crest

Ipswich Town's shirts did not sport a crest until the mid-1960s, when they adopted a design based on the Ipswich coat of arms, featuring a gold lion rampant guardant on a red background on the left half and three gold ramparts on a blue background on the right half.[73] In 1972, the crest was redesigned as the result of a competition, won by the Treasurer of the Supporters Club, John Gammage. Each element of the new design was intended to represent the region.[74]

"I regarded the Suffolk Punch as a noble animal, well suited to dominate our design and represent the club. And to complete the badge I thought of the town of Ipswich which contains many historical buildings, including the Wolsey Gate, and is close to the sea with a large dock area."

This crest was re-used on the home and goalkeeper kit during the 2020–21 season, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Ipswich's UEFA Cup triumph.[75] The crest was modified in 1995 after consultation with a Supporters Forum, with the turrets of the Wolsey Gate moved to the top of the crest, the yellow background changed to red, the Suffolk Punch given a more dominant physique and the F.C. expanded to Football Club. Three stars were added to the sleeve of the team's away shirt for the 2004–05 season,[76] and also to the home kit for the 2005–06 season.[77] These stars were added to represent the three major trophies which Ipswich Town have won; the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup and the old First Division. The stars were relocated directly above the crest when the shirt was redesigned prior to the 2007–08 season, with them being moved again in 2022–23 to the back of the shirt.[78]

Ipswich's orange away kit used during the 1999–2000 season

Colours

Ipswich Town's traditional home colours are blue shirts with white shorts and blue socks. One of Ipswich Town's nicknames is The Blues, stemming from their traditional kit. The club's first registered colours were blue and white striped shirts with black shorts. All-blue shirts and white shorts were first worn in the 1936–37 season, following the clubs entry into the Southern Football League after turning professional. These have stood as the primary colours of the club's home kits ever since.[79]

Since turning professional, Ipswich have used a number of away colours, including white, orange, red and black vertical stripes, claret and green, cream and black vertical stripes and dark blue and claret.[73] In 2006, the club donated 500 orange and blue-and-white shirts to children in Iraq.[80]

Kit suppliers and sponsors

In 1981, Ipswich Town announced a sponsorship deal with Japanese-based electronics company Pioneer Corporation, who became the first official sponsors of the club. Pioneer Corporation also sponsored the west stand of the club's Portman Road stadium up until 1999, formerly known as the West Stand. Pioneer would continue to sponsor the club's kits until 1985, when a new sponsorship deal was agreed with local Suffolk radio station Radio Orwell. The radio station would only sponsor the club's kits for a single season before being replaced with pharmaceutical and horticultural chemical manufacturers Fisons. Fisons were the main sponsors of the club from the 1986–87 season through to the 1994–95 season, including the 1991–92 season when the club won the Second Division championship and gained promotion to the inaugural season of the newly founded Premier League.

Since then Ipswich have had multiple kit sponsors, including Suffolk-based brewing company Greene King from 1995 to 2001, and the energy companies TXU Energi (2001–2003), Powergen (2003–2006) and E.ON (2006–2008). After the club's takeover by Marcus Evans in 2007, Marcus Evans Group became the club's new primary sponsor and would go on to be the football club's main sponsor from 2008 until 2018. In January 2018, the club agreed a new three year sponsorship deal worth almost £2 million with British online casino company Magical Vegas.[81] In May 2020, Magical Vegas revealed that they had donated the final year of their shirt sponsor rights to The Carers Trust charity for the 2020–21 season.[82] On 6 May 2021, the club announced that popular artist and longtime Ipswich fan Ed Sheeran would be the club's new shirt sponsor for the 2021–22 season, a deal which was later extended to cover until the end of the 2023–24 season.[83][84] On 14 June 2022, Ipswich announced that the club had signed a 4-year contract with Umbro to become the new kit manufacturers for both the Men's and Women's teams, marking the first time since 1995 that Ipswich's kits were made by Umbro.[85]

PeriodKit manufacturerShirt sponsorSecondary shirt sponsorShorts sponsor
1975–1977Umbro
1977–1981Adidas
1981–1985Pioneer
1985–1986Radio Orwell
1986–1989Fisons
1989–1995Umbro
1995–2001PunchGreene King
2001–2003TXU Energi
2003–2006Powergen
2006–2007E.ON
2007–2008Mitre
2008–2014Marcus Evans Group
2014–2017Adidas
2017–2018East Anglian Children's Hospices
2018–2019Magical VegasNicholas Estates
2019–2020East Anglian Air Ambulance
2020–2021Carers TrustThank You NHSMortgagemove
2021–2022Ed Sheeran
2022–UmbroIpswich Town Foundation

Stadium

Aerial view of Portman Road

Between 1878 and 1884, Ipswich Town played at two grounds in the town, Broomhill and Brook's Hall,[86] but in 1884, the club moved to Portman Road and have played there ever since.[1] At their new home, Ipswich became one of the first clubs to implement the use of goal nets, in 1890,[1] but the more substantial elements of ground development did not begin until, in 1901, a tobacco processing plant was built along the south edge of the ground. The first stand, a wooden structure, was built on the Portman Road side of the pitch in 1905. In 1911 the roof was blown off,[1] and the ground was later commandeered by the British Army for the duration of World War I. The club turned professional in 1936, and work began on the first bank of terracing at the north end of the pitch. The following year, on the back of winning the Southern League, a similar terrace was built at the southern ’Churchmans’ end.[I]

All sides were terraced by 1954, and floodlights were erected in 1959 for use in lower light conditions.[1] The two-tier Portman Stand was built along the east side of the ground in place of the existing terraces in 1971, and the West Stand was extended in 1982 by the addition of a third tier. The rebuilt West Stand was renamed the Pioneer Stand as a result of the club's sponsorship by the electronics company Pioneer Corporation and was converted to all-seating in 1990.[1] In 1992, following the recommendations of the Taylor Report in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster three years earlier, the terraces in both the north and south stands were also converted to all-seating, creating the first complete all-seater stadium in the top flight of English football (post Taylor Report. Highfield Road was previously all-seater in the early 1980s), with a spectator capacity of 22,600.[1]

Success that took place on the pitch led to further investment in the infrastructure, with the club spending over £22 million on redeveloping both North and South stands, resulting in a current capacity of 30,311, making it the largest-capacity football stadium in East Anglia. In the past ten years, statues of both Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson have been unveiled outside the stadium.[87][88] The North Stand was renamed in honour of former manager Sir Bobby Robson in September 2009. On 31 March 2012, in conjunction with celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Ipswich Town winning the First Division, the South Stand was renamed in honour of Ipswich and England's former manager Alf Ramsey. Portman Road now features two stands named after their two most successful managers in the club's history, as well as being England's two most successful managers. On 10 July 2012, the West Stand, formerly known as the Pioneer Stand and the Britannia Stand, was renamed the East of England Co-operative Stand following a sponsorship deal with the East of England Co-operative Society.[89] The Co-op's sponsorship lasted until 2021, when it was not renewed and returned to be simply the West Stand.[90] The East Stand of Portman Road, formerly known as the Portman Stand, is called the Cobbold Stand, named after the former owners of the club.[91] The playing surface at Portman Road is highly regarded and has been voted best pitch in the league on a number of occasions.[92] The former groundsman, Alan Ferguson, received a number of accolades, including both Premiership and Championship Groundsman of the Year.[93][94] The stadium has also hosted many England youth international matches, and one senior England friendly international match, against Croatia in 2003.[95]

Supporters

Average and peak attendances from 1936

A recent nickname for Town is "The Tractor Boys",[96] which was coined during the club's brief period in the Premier League from 2000–01 to 2001–02, when the team regularly competed against more fashionable clubs. The nickname is an example of self-deprecating humour referring to Suffolk's agricultural heritage.[97] The origins of the nickname are not certain, but the first generally accepted use of the nickname was created whilst playing at Leeds United in 2000–2001: Ipswich were winning the game 2–1 and the Leeds fans started chanting, "We're being beaten by a bunch of tractor drivers". Barracking by supporters of more established Premiership clubs during Town's spell in the Premiership lent the ironic chant "1–0 to the Tractor Boys" increased potency and publicity, and the nickname is commonly used by the media.[98][99] Former Town manager Jim Magilton commented in the local press that he disliked the nickname and said that it conjured up "images of carrot-crunching yokels",[97] while players such as Matt Holland accepted the chant with good humour.[100]

Ipswich have a global fan base, with the official Ipswich Town Supporters Club having supporters branches across the world.[101] The club has a particularly strong affiliation with German club Fortuna Düsseldorf, with Fortuna fans making an annual visit to Portman Road since 2006. Ipswich fans also organise visits to the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf to support Fortuna at their home matches.[102] The two clubs organised a pre-season friendly in Düsseldorf in 2015, the first match played between the teams.[103]

Rivalries

The club's main rivals are Norwich City. When the two teams meet it is known as the East Anglian derby, or, informally, as the "Old Farm derby", a comic reference to the "Old Firm Derby" played between Scottish teams Celtic and Rangers and the prominence of agriculture in East Anglia. The series began in the early 20th century, when both clubs were amateur organisations. The first derby was held between the two clubs on 15 November 1902, with the first derby between the two professional clubs taking place in 1939. Locally, much is made of the informal title "Pride of Anglia". Fans claim the title for either winning the East Anglian Derby, finishing highest in the league, having the better current league position and having the more successful club history.[104]

Records and statistics

League positions since 1938–39 season

Mick Mills holds the record for Ipswich league appearances, having played 741 first-team matches between 1966 and 1982. The club's top league goalscorer is Ray Crawford, who scored 203 goals between 1958 and 1969, while Ted Phillips holds the record for the most league goals scored in a season, 41 in the 1956–57 season in Third Division South. Allan Hunter won the most international caps whilst a player at the club, making 47 appearances for Northern Ireland during his time at Ipswich.[105]

The club's widest victory margins in the league have been their 7–0 wins against Portsmouth in the Second Division in 1964, against Southampton in the First Division in 1974 and against West Bromwich Albion in the First Division in 1976. Their heaviest defeats in the league were 10–1 against Fulham in 1963 and 9–0 against Manchester United in 1995.[105]

Ipswich's record home attendance is 38,010 for a sixth round FA Cup match against Leeds United on 8 March 1975. With the introduction of regulations enforcing all-seater stadiums, it is unlikely that this record will be beaten in the foreseeable future.[105]

The highest transfer fee received for an Ipswich player is £8.1 million as part of a deal worth in excess of £12 million from Sunderland for Connor Wickham in June 2011,[106] while the most spent by the club on a player was £4.75 million for Matteo Sereni from Sampdoria in July 2001, following the club's qualification for the UEFA Cup.[105]

Bobby Robson is the club's longest serving manager in terms of games managed, managing Ipswich for 709 matches between 1969 and 1982. Scott Duncan is the club's longest serving manager in terms of time spent as manager at the club, managing the club for 6,487 days between 1937 and 1955.[107]

Ipswich still maintain an undefeated home record in European competition. This record began in 1962, when the club first qualified for the European Cup. For 45 years, Ipswich held the record for the longest unbeaten run of games at home in European competition, with a run of 31 home matches undefeated. Due to the team's absence from such tournaments in recent years this record has since been broken by Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, but remains a record for British clubs.[108]

Players

Current squad

As of 23 May 2024[109]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos. NationPlayer
18DF  ENGBrandon Williams (on loan from Manchester United)
19FW  ENGKayden Jackson
20MF  JAMOmari Hutchinson (on loan from Chelsea)
21MF  ECUJeremy Sarmiento (on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion)
24FW  WALKieffer Moore (on loan from Bournemouth)
25MF  AUSMassimo Luongo
27FW  ENGGeorge Hirst
28MF  ENGLewis Travis (on loan from Blackburn Rovers)
30MF  ENGCameron Humphreys
31GK  CZEVáclav Hladký
33FW  WALNathan Broadhead
40DF  CODAxel Tuanzebe
44DF  LCAJanoi Donacien

Club sponsor Ed Sheeran honourably issued squad number 17.[110]

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos. NationPlayer
MF  GNBPanutche Camará (at Charlton Athletic until 31 May 2024)
MF  TUNIdris El Mizouni (at Leyton Orient until 31 May 2024)
FW  MARGassan Ahadme (at Cambridge United until 31 May 2024)

Under-21s and Academy

Ipswich currently runs a Category Two Academy, with a five-year plan to improve to Category One. The academy is run by Bryan Klug.[111] The academy was particularly successful in the 1990s, producing a number of first-team players including Kieron Dyer, Richard Wright and Titus Bramble.[112] In more recent years, the academy has produced more young players going onto the main team including Connor Wickham, Jordan Rhodes, Luke Woolfenden, Flynn Downes and Andre Dozzell, who like his father Jason Dozzell, scored on his debut at the age of 16.[113][114]

Player of the Year

Towards the end of each season, a player is voted as the 'Player of the Year' by the club's fans.

Hall of Fame

In 2007, the club created a hall of fame into which a number of personnel associated with the club are inducted every year. The inaugural members, Ray Crawford, Mick Mills, Ted Phillips and John Wark, were selected in 2007 by a ballot of former Ipswich players.

Club officials

Board of directors

PositionName
Chairman Mike O'Leary
Majority-Owner ORG
Minority-Owner Three Lions Group

Corporate hierarchy

PositionName
Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton
Chief Operating Officer Luke Werhun
Chief Financial Officer Tom Ball
Director of Football Operations Gary Probert
Club Secretary Stuart Hayton

First-team coaching staff

PositionName
Manager Kieran McKenna
Assistant Manager Martyn Pert
First-Team Coach Lee Grant
Goalkeeping Coach Rene Gilmartin
Fitness Coach Jon Ashton
Director of Performance Andy Rolls
Head of Strength & Conditioning Ivan Mukandi
Head Physiotherapist Matt Byard
Assistant Head Physiotherapist Alex Chapman
Sports Therapist Alice Gindrod
Soft Tissue Therapist Chris Sousa
Rehabilitation Coach Luke Sewell
Head of Athletic Performance Matt Allen
Sports Scientist Kit Barnes
Head of Analysis Charlie Turnbull
Head of Performance Analysis Will Stephenson
Performance Analyst Morgan Howells
Performance Analyst Judah Davis
Head of Recruitment Vacant
Recruitment Analyst Alex Hood
Recruitment Analyst Jacob Ashton
Kit Manager James Pullen
Assistant Kit Manager Lee Owen

Academy coaching staff

PositionName
Academy Manager Dean Wright
Head of Coaching & Player Development Bryan Klug
Under-21 Head Coach John McGreal
Under-18 Head Coach Olly Lee
Head of Academy Goalkeeping Carl Pentney
Head of Foundation Phase Simon Tricker
Head of Academy Recruitment Alex Kaufman
Academy Loan Manager Chris Casement
Head of Academy Performance Analysis Adam Cuthbert
Head of Academy Sports Medicine Jack Wilce
Head of Academy Sports Science Nathan Griffith
Academy Physiotherapist Amy Purser
Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach Harry Jell
Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach Calum Daley

Information correct as of 27 May 2024[115]

Managers

Alf Ramsey managed Ipswich Town between 1955 and 1963, before leading England to win the World Cup in 1966.
Bobby Robson managed Ipswich Town from 1969 to 1982.
As of 4 May 2024. Only permanent managers are shown.
NameNationalityFromToMWDLWin %
Mick O'Brien  Ireland29 May 193611 August 1937392595064.1
Scott Duncan  Scotland12 November 19377 August 1955505205113187040.6
Alf Ramsey  England8 August 195530 April 196336917675118047.7
Jackie Milburn  England1 May 19638 September 196456111233019.6
Bill McGarry  England5 October 196423 November 1968196806254040.8
Bobby Robson  England13 January 196918 August 1982709316173220044.6
Bobby Ferguson  England19 August 198217 May 19872589761100037.6
John Duncan  Scotland17 June 19875 May 1990161732959045.3
John Lyall  England11 May 19905 December 1994231777579033.3
George Burley  Scotland28 December 199411 October 200241318896129045.5
Joe Royle  England28 October 200211 May 2006189814860042.9
Jim Magilton  Northern Ireland5 June 200622 April 2009148564151037.8
Roy Keane  Ireland23 April 20097 January 201181282528034.6
Paul Jewell  England13 January 201124 October 201286301838034.9
Mick McCarthy  Ireland1 November 201210 April 20182791057896037.6
Paul Hurst  England30 May 201825 October 201815177006.7
Paul Lambert  Scotland27 October 201828 February 2021113372848032.7
Paul Cook  England2 March 20214 December 202144131714029.5
Kieran McKenna  Northern Ireland20 December 2021present131753620057.3

Honours

Domestic

League

Cup

Continental

Ipswich Town in popular culture

A number of Ipswich players appeared alongside Sylvester Stallone and Pelé in the 1981 prisoner of war film Escape to Victory, including John Wark, Russell Osman, Robin Turner, Laurie Sivell, and Kevin O'Callaghan. Other Ipswich Town players stood in for actors in the football scenes—Kevin Beattie for Michael Caine, and Paul Cooper for Sylvester Stallone.[116]

Ipswich Town Football Club Women

A ladies team affiliated with the club, Ipswich Town Women, currently compete in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division, the third tier of women's football in the country, with a very successful academy playing in the U21 Premier League with England recognition. The team play their home games at the AGL Arena in Felixstowe, the home of Felixstowe & Walton United.[117]

Notes

I^ : Up until 2000, when the stand was completely rebuilt, it was commonly referred to as "Churchmans" after the family who owned the tobacco factory (before John Players Ltd) which stood next to it.

References

External links

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