One in the pie for Delia!

IPSWICH Town is celebrating a return to the upper crust of English football - after triumphing at the British Pie Awards!

By Francis Whittaker

IPSWICH Town is celebrating a return to the upper crust of English football - after triumphing at the British Pie Awards!

Town's Steak and Ale pies are officially the best in England after winning a gold award in the competition's football category.

The award is likely to be another bitter blow for rivals Norwich City and their majority shareholder Delia Smith.

Blues' banqueting boss Mike Rieder said of the accolade: “It's a cracking beef pie and its great news for the fans and the football club”.

The award will give Town fans additional bragging rights over their Norfolk neighbours, following April's derby win and the Canaries' relegation to League One.

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Norwich has long been considered the culinary king of East Anglia, with Delia running her Canary Catering cookery courses from Carrow Road.

However Bryan Gunn's side failed to submit an entry for the prestigious award this year.

“This is the first year we've entered and the idea was to challenge Delia to a 'pie-off', but Norwich didn't send one in. The competition was still quite stiff,” said Mr Rieder.

Town were the only club to take home two prizes, with their vegetarian Spinach and Mushroom Pie also bagging a silver award.

They were beaten to the UK title by Scottish minnows Clachnacuddin FC and had to make do with sharing the runner-up spot with Reading's Waitrose Madejski Steak and Kidney Pie.

However Mr Rieder is working on a plan to take the full British title next year, and hopes to enlist the help of Town's new pouring partners Adnams.

He also believes that the clubs gastronomic success could translate to results on the pitch and said: “This pie is a premium option which helps develop business and bring in money which will eventually buy players on the pitch.”