League One Lowdown: Ipswich Town

Last updated : 09 September 2020 By Jim Bonner

Vital Statistics

Founded: 1878

Owner: Marcus Evans

Last Season: League One - 11th

Nicknames: The Tractor Boys, The Blues

Rivals: Norwich City, Colchester United

Major Honours

League Champions: 1962

F.A. Cup: 1978

UEFA Cup: 1981

Scheduled Matches

Portsmouth vs Ipswich: Saturday, March 20th (3pm)

Ipswich vs Portsmouth: Saturday, December 20th (3pm)

Ipswich Town: A brief history

Ipswich have been around since 1878 but were never elected to the Football League until 1938 having won regional trophies in the years prior. They played in Division Three (South) until 1954 when they were finally promoted to Division Two.

Town were relegated the season after but their fortunes changed upon the arrival of Alf Ramsay in 1955. From there the Tractor Boys were promoted to the First Division in 1961 and won it in 1962. With Ipswich taken from Division Three to Ipswich, Ramsay's achievements earned him the England job in 1963 where he would win the World Cup three years later.

Jackie Milburn took over and his time at Portman Road was a disaster, seeing Ipswich relegated and although his successor Bill McGarry eventually got them promoted to the top tier again, it wasn't until Bobby Robson was appointed in 1969 when the club had their real success with an FA Cup and UEFA Cup win under his management until he, like Alf Ramsay, was offered the England job in 1982.

Ipswich were relegated again after Robson left but were promoted under John Lyall's management at the start of the Premier League era. George Burley took over when the Suffolk club were relegated again and got them back to the top tier and even finished 5th in 2001 to qualify for the UEFA Cup. However, once again relegation hit and Ipswich would spend 16 years in the Championship before finishing bottom in 2019 to play in the third tier for the first time since 1957.

The Manager: Paul Lambert

The Scot played most of his games in his homeland with St. Mirren, Motherwell and Celtic but perhaps is most famous for winning the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund in 1997.

Lambert's managerial career began at Livingston before moving to Wycombe where he guided the League Two side to the League Cup semi-finals. From there, he joined Colchester and a 7-1 thrashing of Norwich at Carrow Road on the opening day of the 2009/2010 convinced the Canaries to pach him from the U's and with his new club he earned back-to-back promotions to the Premier League.

Lambert's success saw him join Aston Villa in 2012 and he did a good job there before being sacled in February 2015. He has since been in a few managerial roles with Blackburn, Wolves and Stoke but couldn't settle before being appointed Ipswich manager last season. He couldn't stop the Tractor Boys from finishing bottom of the league but the board have kept faith with the ex-Norwich man.

Match To Remember: Portsmouth 2 Ipswich Town 1 (F.A. Cup Third Round Replay - 19/01/2016)

Having been robbed of victory at Portman Road, league Two Pompey still gave their Championship opponents a football lesson at Fratton Park. Gary Roberts and Marc McNulty put Paul Cook's men 2-0 up at the break. Ainsley Maitland-Niles pulled one back but once Piotr Malorczyk was sent off, the result wasn't in doubt.

Match To Forget: Ipswich Town 1 Portsmouth 0 (Championship - 18/11/2011)

Keith Andrews scored the only goal of this utterly forgettable Tuesday night match.

The Ground: Portman Road (Capacity: 30,300 - Away: 1,900)

Firstly, if you're looking for a place to drink before the game then I'd recommend going to the Punch & Judy pub which can be found near the Cineworld complex which is a five minute walk directly behind the away section of the ground. Do not do what I did and trek all around Ipswich Town centre only to find the majority of pubs were for home fans only!

My photos of Portman Road have been lost to time but for those interested in English football heritage, be sure to check out the Alf Ramsay and Bobby Robson statues nearby. The view from the upper tier of the away end is good, but leg room is extremely small.

Despite this, Portman Road is still one of the best venues in League One this season.