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Ipswich Town photo from 1885 recreated at Ipswich School with help from Italian supporters branch

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:03 05 March 2017

The Ipswich Association Football Club, photographed in 1885 at Broom Hill

The Ipswich Association Football Club, photographed in 1885 at Broom Hill

Archant

Nostalgia plays a central role in football. From reliving the glory days at the pub with friends or watching a grainy documentary, it is an essential part of being a supporter.

Jose Lopez, Matt Stott, Claudio Lonso, Davide Casate, Phil Gardiner, Alasdair Ross, Ennio Bovolenta, Phil Ham, Simone Longo and Frank Ferarri recreate an 1885 photo of Ipswich Association Football Club. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJose Lopez, Matt Stott, Claudio Lonso, Davide Casate, Phil Gardiner, Alasdair Ross, Ennio Bovolenta, Phil Ham, Simone Longo and Frank Ferarri recreate an 1885 photo of Ipswich Association Football Club. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

That’s what brought together six members of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town supporters club, Ipswich School teacher and local councillor Alasdair Ross, and two members of the local press last Friday afternoon.

They gathered to recreate one of the oldest known photographs of the Ipswich Association Football Club, formed in 1878 by a group of Ipswich School alumni and the foundation of Ipswich Town Football Club. The photograph is thought to date back to 1885.

The heritage event was the latest part of a new initiative by the ITFC Supporters Club to celebrate the club’s history.

Tim Edwards, Simone Longo and Liz Edwards in replicas of the classic shirts. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTim Edwards, Simone Longo and Liz Edwards in replicas of the classic shirts. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It was driven by football history expert Simone Longo, who has been chair of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town supporters club for 10 years.

He said: “I’m fascinated by the study of all football clubs, in particular the teams I support.

“So I investigated Ipswich Town’s foundation and two years ago I went to Broomhill Park where they used to play and to the Inkerman pub which was the changing room at that time. This is the first time I’ve been to Ipswich School.”

Simone Longo, chairman of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town supporters club, wearing an Italian-designed replica kit of the 1885 strip worn by Ipswich Association Football Club. Picture: SIMONE LONGOSimone Longo, chairman of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town supporters club, wearing an Italian-designed replica kit of the 1885 strip worn by Ipswich Association Football Club. Picture: SIMONE LONGO

The Ipswich Association Football Club was formed on October 16, 1878 with matches played at Brooks Hall, off the Norwich Road. The Ipswich Football Club, who played rugby at Portman Road, merged with the soccer club in 1888.

Ipswich Town Football Club turned professional in 1936.

Mr Longo, who visits Portman Road two or three times a year, said the jerseys sported in the 2017 version of the photograph were hand-made by a friend and tailor.

Members of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club helped to recreate an 1885 photo of Ipswich Association Football Club. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMembers of the Italian branch of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club helped to recreate an 1885 photo of Ipswich Association Football Club. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It was easy to realise them because it was a classic shirt,” he said. “The crests on each shirt aren’t the same as they were embroidered by hand.”

The branch is based in Milan and has around 50 members.

He explained how he came to support the Blues: “First because my big brother Claudio, who is 15 years older than me, he remembered the Bobby Robson era very well. After that, in 2001, I went to watch Ipswich at the San Siro in the UEFA Cup match against Inter and from that moment I’ve supported Ipswich. It is a nice family-friendly club.”

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