From Gavin Johnson to Romeo Zondervan - 70-61 of Ipswich Town’s greatest 100 players
We are approaching halfway now as Terry Hunt picks his top 100 Ipswich Town players of all time.
Today’s list features a Suffolk boy who made Blues Premier League history, Ipswich’s best striker of recent years, and a player named “Diesel”.
70. Gavin Johnson
Suffolk boy Johnson created Blues history when he scored the club’s very first Premiership goal, against Aston Villa at Portman Road, on the opening day of the 1992-1993 season. Johnson only scored nine others for Town in 131 games.
After leaving Portman Road, Johnson played for a number of other clubs, most notably Colchester, before playing Suffolk non-league football.
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69. Daryl Murphy
Daryl Murphy’s career at Ipswich Town is a strange one. It started with a succession of loan spells, before he had his magic season in 2014-15, with his 27 league goals propelling Town into the Championship play-offs. His previous best season’s haul had been 13.
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At the start of this season, Murphy left for Newcastle, and is badly missed at Portman Road.
68. James Scowcroft
A Suffolk boy, striker Scowcroft was a key player in the George Burley era, with successive play-off failures finally ending with victory in the play-off final at Wembley in 2000. However, Scowcroft missed that game due to injury.
He played well in the first Premiership season, alongside Marcus Stewart, before joining Leicester.
67. John McGreal
McGreal joined George Burley’s Ipswich in the summer of 1999, ready to play an important part in Town’s memorable promotion season, and the stunning first campaign in the Premier League. McGreal was a very classy, unflappable centre-back, who never appeared hurried. He spent five seasons at Town. Now doing well as manager of Colchester United.
66. Jamie Clapham
After a loan, left-back Clapham joined Ipswich permanently in the spring of 1998. After scoring an own goal in one of Town’s numerous play-off defeats, Clapham enjoyed play-off final glory over Barnsley in 2000, with his cross being headed home by Marcus Stewart for the third goal.
In 2002, with the club in administration, Clapham was sold to Birmingham.
65. Darren Bent
Darren Bent progressed through the youth ranks at Ipswich Town, before making his first team debut in the 2001-02 relegation season. He then became a key part of Joe Royle’s team as they battled to regain top-flight status.
He, Shekfi Kuqi and Tommy Miller contributed 55 goals in a single season. He moved to Charlton for £2.5m in 20015, before stints at Spurs, Sunderland, Villa, and now Derby. His international career never really took off.
64. Tommy Smith
Ipswich Town’s longest-serving player, Tommy Smith has been badly missed this season, as he recovers from back surgery. A born leader, he also has a great rapport with the Town fans.
As well as being a solid defender, Smith also has a happy knack of popping up for goals - 22 for Ipswich so far. He has 29 New Zealand caps and played every minute of the All-Whites’ games at the 2010 World Cup Finals.
63. Tommy Miller
Goalscoring midfielder Tommy Miller liked it at Portman Road so much that he had three spells.
After being released at 15, Miller joined Hartlepool. He came back to Ipswich in 2001, where he joined forces with Shefki Kuqi and Darren Bent to form a highly productive goalscoring trio. After a spell at Sunderland, Miller joined Ipswich for a third time in 2007.
62. Peter Morris
Peter “Diesel” Morris joined Ipswich for the promotion run-in of 1968. The hard-working midfielder with a rocket shot stayed at Portman Road until 1974, playing a part in the Bobby Robson revolution which saw the team transformed from perennial strugglers to league title contenders, and regulars in European competition. He then joined a team who play 40 miles to the north of Ipswich....Shame on you, Peter!
61. Romeo Zondervan
Dutch midfielder Romeo Zondervan’s eight years ended with promotion back to the top-flight, and the new Premiership, in 1992. A classy operator, Zondervan played nearly 300 times for Town, captaining the side for a couple of seasons.