Search

Watch: One of the greatest achievements in football history – Town crowned champions on this day in 1962

The most unlikely league champions? Almost certainly. This was the line-up which won the Division One title, against all the odds, in 1961-1962. Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVE

The most unlikely league champions? Almost certainly. This was the line-up which won the Division One title, against all the odds, in 1961-1962. Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVE

Archant

The date of April 28 is a significant one in Ipswich Town’s rich history – because it was on this day in 1962, against all the odds, that the Blues were crowned champions of England.

Alf Ramsey’s collection of has-beens and cast-offs had shocked the football world a year earlier when they were promoted to the First Division. They were universally written off as relegation certainties.

But, as the season went by, incredibly Town found themselves in the race for the title, alongside mighty Spurs and Burnley.

MORE: Much-criticised North Stand roof at Portman Road to get long-overdue clean

Prolific strikers Ray Crawford and Ted Phillips were banging in goals left, right, and centre, supplied by Ramsey’s deep-lying wingers, Jimmy Leadbetter and Roy “Rocky” Stephenson.

This was the game when Town created history. Town beat visitors Aston Villa 2-0 to clinch the Division One crown. Here, Ray Crawford stretches to keep the ball in play. It was Crawford's two goals on that histroci day which saw Town crowned as champions. Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVEThis was the game when Town created history. Town beat visitors Aston Villa 2-0 to clinch the Division One crown. Here, Ray Crawford stretches to keep the ball in play. It was Crawford's two goals on that histroci day which saw Town crowned as champions. Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVE

It was a revolutionary tactic which flummoxed First Division defences and, four years later, would see England to World cup glory.

On the final Saturday of the season, in front of nearly 29,000 fans, Town knew they must win against visitors Aston Villa.

MORE: Earliest date on which football could return revealed

The first half was frustrating, but in the 72nd minute a diving header from Crawford brought the breakthrough. Four minutes later, Crawford struck again.

The Ipswich Town forward line which brought the Division One trophy to Portman Road for the one and only time - so far. From left, Roy The Ipswich Town forward line which brought the Division One trophy to Portman Road for the one and only time - so far. From left, Roy "Rocky'' Stephenson, Doug Moran, Ray Crawford, Ted Phillips, and Jimmy Leadbetter. What would this line-up be worth in today's transfer market? Picture: DAVE KINDRED ARCHIVE

Town had done their bit, and a few minutes after the final whistle came the news that Burnley had only drawn.

Ipswich were First Division champions – arguably the greatest-ever achievement in English football.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times