Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Ipswich Town: Die-hard fans set for 500-mile trip to Preston in FA Cup replay

PUBLISHED: 17:20 13 January 2014 | UPDATED: 18:01 13 January 2014

Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, is making the trip to Preston tonight

Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, is making the trip to Preston tonight

More than 150 die-hard Ipswich Town fans are set to embark on a 500-mile round trip tomorrow as the Blues travel to Preston North End in an FA Cup Third Round replay.

Following the side’s 1-1 stalemate earlier this month, travelling to Deepdale, approximately 33 miles north of Manchester, on what promises to be a cold and potentially wet Tuesday night isn’t ideal but that hasn’t stopped some of Ipswich’s ‘travelling heroes’ from making the journey.

None more so than lifelong fan Richard Townsend, who will leave his house in Halesworth early tomorrow morning just to go and watch his beloved Blues.

Mr Townsend is the chairman of the Ipswich Town Halesworth branch of the club’s supporters group which has ran since 1985 and usually takes between 30 to 40 dedicated fans to away games.

However, Mr Townsend will be the only one of these committed bunch who makes the mammoth journey up north tomorrow, with the season ticket holder set to meet his son, Matt, in Manchester before travelling to the game together.

“Matt lives and works in Manchester now so I thought I might as well take the opportunity to go,” said Mr Townsend.

“It’s a pretty mad thing to do but I think you should support your team through thick and thin, through the highs and the lows and through the ups and the downs.”

Mr Townsend is set to catch the bus to Norwich before getting the train to Manchester where his son will drive to the game before staying over and venturing back to Halesworth on Wednesday.

“It’s a day out and beats working,” joked the print manager.

And Mr Townsend is not the only one who is adopting similar thoughts ahead of the game.

Horry Money, branch chairman of the Blues’ London supporters club, is also attending with two fellow members from his set-up.

“We’re just completely mad,” said Mr Money, who has been following Town for over 40 years.

“It’s part and parcel of being an Ipswich fan though, and judging by the previous game I think they’ll need our support!

“It’s the FA Cup and we’re hoping we can play our part in the magic of the cup.”

Liz Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, is also heading to Deepdale and has echoed her fellow Town fans’ voices.

“There are so many Town fans who are loyal and passionate beyond belief and for those travelling from Suffolk, this is about as testing as a game gets,” said Mrs Edwards.

“But with football, there’s the uncertainty of it all - what if we were to confound the odds and progress all the way? How dreadful it would be to have missed even a single game in such a season?”

If Town are to progress against Preston, their avid fans will be on the road again in the next round with a trip to Nottingham Forest on Friday, January 24.

Journey details

Ipswich to Preston - Not one for the faint-hearted.

Estimated journey time - Four hours, 13 minutes. Without traffic!

A14 and then M6 to Coventry/Birmingham, merge back onto M6 via M42 towards Burnley/Blackburn/Preston before merging onto M65 and A6 for Preston and Deepdale.

If the match is finished in 90 minutes, fans travelling back to Suffolk won’t get home until at least 2am while if the tie goes into extra-time and penalties it could be as late as 3am, at least!

Comments have been disabled on this article.

A charity supporting West Suffolk Hospital has launched its biggest ever fundraising campaign in a bid to fund a diagnostic unit at a new cardiac centre being built at the Bury St Edmunds site.

Safety failings uncovered by health inspectors at an Essex care home put residents at risk of being trapped inside if the building caught fire, a new report warns.

An investigation is underway into suspected arson after a thatched outdoor classroom in Christchurch Park was burned to the ground.

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 25 year-old male from Ipswich, who has not been seen for a week.

There are just a few days left to have your say over Braintree District Council’s draft Local Plan.

Two Suffolk nurseries have defended their decision to put the price of hot meals up to £12 a day in the wake of national funding changes being rolled out later this year.

The popular ITFC family day out will return on Thursday, July 27, at Portman Road.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24