Could mascot be lucky omen for Town?
By Ted JeoryIT is D-Day for Ipswich Town today as they battle for a place in the Division One play-off final – but fans seeking lucky a omen need look no further than the mascot for the big game.
By Ted Jeory
IT is D-Day for Ipswich Town today as they battle for a place in the Division One play-off final – but fans seeking lucky a omen need look no further than the mascot for the big game.
To the thousands of fretting, superstitious Blues fans crossing their fingers and touching every piece of wood in sight, fear not – tonight's team mascot is a Dumbrell.
Josh Dumbrell, 12, of Tilkey Road, Coggeshall, is the brother of Tom, who was a mascot four years ago when Town beat Bolton Wanderers on the way to 2000 play-off glory.
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When his mother, Linda, a fan of 32 years, saw Ipswich Town were going to qualify for the play-offs yet again, she wrote to the Portman Road club persuading them to let her family guide them once more.
"They rang me back straight away," she said yesterday. "I think they know what's good. We're all looking for signs and omens – even the final is on exactly the same date as it was four years ago.
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"But what's best is that Josh will be exactly the same age day to the day as when Tom did it. There's four years less two days between them.
"Josh knows the tradition and what happened last time, but he hasn't been showing any nerves at all – I think I have though."
Tom, now a 16-year-old Colchester Institute student, was selected for his 2000 moment of glory from a lucky draw, but believed his brother can handle the pressure that has been thrust upon him.
"He may say he's not nervous, but that's just a bit of bravado. I was the same against Bolton, but it was a bit overwhelming in the end," he added.
However, Josh, a pupil at Honywood School in Coggeshall, remained unfazed.
"I'll just run out with the players, have a couple of words with them like 'Good luck' and that will be it," he said.
Ipswich Town have given themselves a slender advantage going into tonight's game against West Ham, having won Saturday's first-leg 1-0, with a place in the First Division play-off final at Cardiff on May 29 at stake.
Thousands of Town fans are travelling to east London for tonight's game, while many others will be glued to the television screens for the nail-biter.
As for Josh, he said there was nothing to worry about. "3-2 to the Town – on aggregate," he predicted.