Former Ipswich Town full-back Chris Makin has been reflecting on his time with the Blues.

ROSS HALLS spoke with Makin about a range of memories, including joining the club from Sunderland, finishing fifth in the Premier League, playing in Europe, relegation and his time at Portman Road as a whole. 

In total, he made 92 appearances during his three-year-spell at Portman Road, before he left the club in the summer of 2004 to join Leicester City.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Chris Makin joined Ipswich from Sunderland in March 2001.Chris Makin joined Ipswich from Sunderland in March 2001. (Image: Warren Page)



"It was a weird one because both clubs were in similar positions in the league, it was the business end to the season and a strange time to join a football club.

"I didn't have a clue about the move, I just went to a reserve game at Sunderland one evening and Ricky Sbragia pulled me aside and said you had a word with your agent? I said no and he said 'oh, you're going to Ipswich', so I said 'Am I?'

"I was on the phone straight away to my agent and he didn't know anything about it either, so it was a shock because I was settled at Sunderland, we had a good side - but as soon as you hear you're not wanted you are best getting out of there.

"I think I talked to Mike Summerbee at the time because he spent a lot of time with John Wark and the Ipswich Town boys when he featured in Escape to Victory and I think he spent a lot of time in Ipswich to watch games and said you've got to down there, you'll love it." 

"So yeah I went for talks with the club and signed in March." 

East Anglian Daily Times: John Mcgreal and Chris Makin challenge Newcastle United's Nolberto solano at Portman Road.John Mcgreal and Chris Makin challenge Newcastle United's Nolberto solano at Portman Road. (Image: PA)


"I knew I was joining a great football club and it was quite easy signing because the place was buzzing and everyone's smiling, the training ground is a happy place so it was not hard to settle in to a good football team.

'I don't really remember George (Burley) sitting me down and telling me how to play, it was more Dale Roberts his number two, who sadly passed away not long after I joined.

"I remember I did something in training and more or less got told off by Dale after I didn't go into a tackle and he reminded me why I was signed.

"He took me to the side and said 'What are you doing?' I said 'What's the matter, I'm not going to go through someone in training', but he said 'No that's why you've been brought here for, you're aggressive and that's how we want you to be." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Chris Makin celebrates with Jermaine Wright at Fulham.Chris Makin celebrates with Jermaine Wright at Fulham. (Image: Warren Page)

"It was brilliant because me and the lads had dreamt of that as kids, now we're doing it and we played in the Olympic Stadium, the massive one in Russia, so we were absolutely buzzing with all that.

"One of our sayings in the changing room at the time was no one wins in Moscow but we did it.

"I remember the game against Torpedo Moscow because one of the worst misses ever in football happened from one of the Russian players who missed from three yards out and don't know how he missed it!

"It was just a special night (at Portman Road), the atmosphere and buzz around the ground and you don't know you're going to win but sometimes it just goes your way.

"I just remember the ground exploding when Alun (Armstrong) scored and it was such a good goal because when he headed it, he was more or less leaning back and had to use his neck muscles to get it on target." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Chris Makin shrugs off Kevin Davies during Town's 3-1 defeat against Southampton at Portman Road.Chris Makin shrugs off Kevin Davies during Town's 3-1 defeat against Southampton at Portman Road. (Image: PA)


"We were playing games on a Thursday night and then playing on a Sunday, it's a lot to take in, maybe the amount of games had a bit of effect on us.

"I remember going on a fantastic run, we pulled clear of the relegation zone and I thought we've turned a corner here, but we played Liverpool at home and they spanked us 6-0, before losing to Southampton and we didn't seem to recover. 

"I remember Matteo Sereni asking for a rest in a middle of the relegation battle and you can't have characters like that because you've all got to be together.

"It soon becomes a big issue within the group because the bonding helps you win games sometimes and when you have one or two that don't want to be part of the group or process it spreads quick." 


"It was a nightmare, we played West Ham at home and I just collapsed, didn't know what it was just my leg buckled and had to come off.

"I went to see a few specialist but it got misdiagnosed, so I ended up doing about 10 months out with two or three surgeries which was the first time in my career.

 "I remember I tried to make a comeback for Town when I played in a reserve game at home against Charlton but I didn't even make it to 20 minutes because straight away I knew that this isn't right and had to come off. 

"That means you have to go for another surgery, seeing more specialists and having injections which I can't stand and you think when's this going to ever end?  

"We came across this guy who was a ex-SAS medic and he gave me so much confidence because he came in, did a couple of tests and said I know exactly what it is, I've done it before and I will have you back in three months." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Chris Makin celebrates with two goal hero Alun Armstrong at Middlesbrough.Chris Makin celebrates with two goal hero Alun Armstrong at Middlesbrough. (Image: Warren Page)


"Of course there was always a question mark about me getting back from my injury but I knew I was going to play football again because I was doing pre-season, I was flying, doing loads of running and kicking the ball with no real trouble.

"But the club were very 50/50 whether I would come through injury free, so there was a discrepancy then.

"There was a few of us that left that summer, one of those transitional periods because the wage structure came right down and I remember being offered a contract that was a third of the original contract that I was on.

"I was supposed to sign for Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League and went up there to do some fitness test but they signed another player instead so I was in limbo again.

"I ended up going to Leicester City on a better contract which turned out to be an absolute nightmare so should've stayed at Ipswich because they were flying that season.

"I shouldn't have left when I did because I remember going back with Leicester and they battered us. 

"I was thinking why did I leave but it's all in hindsight, you can't do anything about it, you've made your decision, made your bed and you've got to lie in it now." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Chris Makin made 92 appearances during his time at Portman Road. Chris Makin made 92 appearances during his time at Portman Road. (Image: Warren Page)


"I've been out in Qatar for 12 years now along with Nicky Summerbee covering the local league in English which has flown by. We got a hint there was a job here and we jumped at the chance when probably we shouldn't have done but we took a chance. 

"You've got to remember when we came out it was just 10 years before the World Cup so not many people had heard about Qatar and no players were coming here to play.

"But now that's changed with the likes of Philippe Coutinho playing now, Xavi was out here and you're getting bigger names all the time so we've seen that develop of the years.

"We had the World Cup which was off the wall, it was unbelievable and had all the family come out in different stages to watch all the England games and had all the flags out. 

"We managed to watch a couple of the Brazil games because I always wanted to watch them in a World Cup - the 1982 Brazil side is one of my favourite teams with Éder, Falcão, Júnior and Sócrates, so I've always been fascinated by Brazil.

"Everyone thinks it's closed country but it's not, it's a very open.

"We've had a fabulous time over here, my daughter was born out here, so she only knows Qatar and she's started playing football which is great to see."