Ipswich/Llanymynech: Loyal band of fans meet weekly in Welsh village to discuss their hero, former ITFC player John Wark
John Wark is one of Ipswich Town’s most decorated, celebrated and loved players.
In his three spells at Portman Road he not only won the hearts of the terraces but also bagged the FA Cup and Uefa Cup.
And now he has another honour to add to his glittering career – a bizarre cult set up in a tiny Welsh village who worship at the altar of Wark.
The sleepy village of Llanymynech, Powys, with a population of 887, is not packed with nightlife. But if you wander in to the local boozer expect to see a familar face.
The John Wark Appreciation Society was launched by Andrew Morris and Chris Coull a decade ago – even though neither of them are Town fans.
Now the pair meet once a week, donning their Wark t-shirts, to analyse one of football’s most enduring careers.
The duo watch old footage of matches involving the former Blues midfielder and discuss moments in his career over pints of beer.
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Now they want the Ipswich, Liverpool and Scotland player to endorse the club – or even better, join them for a drink at Portman Road.
Andrew, 27, a Wrexham fan, said: “We have both idolised John Wark for a number of years and I even had a picture of him blue-tacked to my bedroom wall as a youngster.
“I think he epitomised what talent, hard work and a cracking moustache can do for you.”
Chris, also 27, and a Peterborough United fan, added: “It doesn’t matter that Warky never played for either of our clubs, he has always been a hero of ours since childhood. The next step we are considering is growing our hair and moustaches like our hero.”
And that dream meeting betwen fans and idol might not be far away. A slightly baffled Wark said: “When I first heard about it I thought it was a bit of a wind-up, but it’s nice that there are people out there willing to do that.
“It feels good that people appreciate what you did on the pitch and if they come down to Portman Road I would definitely like to meet up with them.”
Andrew added: “It would be a dream come true to actually meet John, or even for him to give his official backing to the club.
“We will hopefully come down to Portman Road at some point this season too with our Warky shirts on and try to buy the man himself a pint.”
An Ipswich Town spokesman said: “John Wark is a legend at the club and is a great guy, so we think it’s brilliant Andrew and Chris have got this Appreciation Society. We would be delighted in trying to help sort out a meeting.”