Happy days when the Canaries didn’t chirp at Carrow Road, on the anniversary of that 7-1 thumping – Carl Marston’s Travels with Town
PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:23 08 August 2019
Football writer Carl Marston has visited 120 Football League grounds over the last 30 years, many of them reporting on Ipswich Town. Here he puts his spin on Carrow Road
There is never a good time to focus on Carrow Road, in the eyes of any Ipswich Town supporter, especially at present with the two clubs now plying their trade two leagues apart.
While Town's League One opener was played out in front of a crowd of less than 5,000 at Burton Albion last weekend, a club who were gracing the non-league until 2009, by stark contrast Norwich can look forward to a Premier League season's opener at mighty Liverpool, the Champions League winners, tomorrow evening.
The crowd at Anfield is likely to be a touch over 5,000! In fact, it will be nudging nearer the 54,000 capacity.
But have no fear - Town fans and admirers - because there is some fun to be had during these dark days, with regards those Canaries from up the road.
Forget the fact that Norwich will get to play the mouth-watering quintet of Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, West Ham and Manchester City in their first five league games.
Instead, focus on the 'positives.'
Here I have compiled a list of heart-warming facts, or gentle reminders, for Town supporters to smile over. A friendly 'top five,' if you like.
As the waiter in a restaurant will often rather annoyingly tell you, on delivering your meal to the table - 'Enjoy!'
No. 1: You should never forget the sometimes forgotten fact that Norwich used to play in blue-and-white. The Norfolk club played in blue-and-white halves until 1907, when they took the appalling decision to switch to yellow-and-green to complement their new nickname of the Canaries.
No. 2: Although Ipswich Town had little involvement (with the exception of future signing Kevin Lisbie bagging two goals), it is always a delight to join in a happy celebration - today is the 10th anniversary of Norwich City being humbled 7-1 at home by Colchester United, on the opening day of the 2009-10 season in League One. It remains the Canaries' biggest home defeat, and I was there to revel in it.
Two highlights for me, that glorious afternoon, was watching two home supporters run on the pitch to rip up their season tickets, with the score at 0-4 after 22 minutes, and then attending (me, not the two fans!) the post-match press conference where a stunned City boss, Bryan Gunn (who was to be sacked just six days later), attempted to dismiss the debacle as just a run-of-the-mill defeat.
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I'm still smiling.
No. 3: Norwich City almost went bust in 1956, after having to cough up £9,000 for the erection of floodlights. Alas, they were saved from folding by a lucrative FA Cup run just three years later. Shame.
No. 4: Town's overall record at Carrow Road is pretty good, despite the lean spell of recent years (no wins in nine visits, since 2006), with less defeats (22) than wins or draws (combined 29).
No. 5: As I recall in this column, Town's double over the Canaries in 1984-85 helped to relegate them!
-Ground: Carrow Road
- Club: Norwich City
- Town's first visit: 1-0 win on Jan 4, 1947 (Division Three South)
- Town's last visit: 3-0 defeat on Feb 1, 2019
I have had the fortune, or misfortune, to frequent Carrow Road on many occasions over the years, initially as a visiting supporter and later as a member of the press.
One of my happiest memories is of the 1984-85 season, which on the face of it might seem curious, seeing as though the Canaries beat Town in a two-legged League Cup semi-final to reach Wembley that year. I attended both legs, the 1-0 win at Portman Road followed by the heart-breaking 2-0 defeat at Carrow Road, when Steve Bruce headed home a late winner.
A month later, however, Town gained sweet revenge in a league match at Carrow Road.
Town had already beaten Norwich 2-0 at Portman Road on New Year's Day, and they duly completed the double with a 2-0 win on enemy territory.
The goals were scored by Terry Butcher, a tower of strength in both boxes, and Mich D'Avray, the most hard-working of target men who never scored enough goals.
The league double, and those priceless six points, eventually condemned Norwich to relegation from the First Division. They finished third-from-bottom, just one point behind the trio of QPR, Coventry and ….. Ipswich Town.