Happy returns and Dyer returns

IS it wise to return to your old stomping ground? Many think not.

IS it wise to return to your old stomping ground? Many think not.

But by-and-large, Ipswich Town players returning to Portman Road for a second, and in some cases a third spell, have fared well.

Town fans will be hoping that former favourite Kieron Dyer makes a big impact, following his welcome return on a one-month deal from West Ham yesterday morning.

Dyer, 32, began his career at Portman Road with three impressive seasons as an attacking midfielder during the late 1990s before his �6m move to Newcastle in 1999, and subsequent �6m switch to West Ham in 2007.


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Dyer’s career has been blighted by long-term injuries, but he is hoping that his luck changes with a return to his home-town club. He is set to go straight into the team at Leeds United today.

Here is a selection of players who have returned to Portman Road for second and sometimes third spells:

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RAY CRAWFORD (HIT)

TOWN’S prolific striker bagged 143 goals in 197 league outings between 1958 and ‘63, helping Sir Alf Ramsey’s side to win back-to-back league titles with the Second Division (1960-61) and First Division (1961-62) championships. He moved on to the Midlands to play for Wolves and West Brom, before returning to Town in 1966.

He impressed in another three full seasons to take his tally to 259 goals in all competitions.

JOHN WARK (HIT)

THE Scotsman gave terrific service in all three of his spells, initially from 1975-84 as a successful attacking midfielder and regular goalscorer. After four years at Liverpool, Wark was back with Town (1988-90) during the John Duncan era and returned for an even more fruitful stint from 1991, after one season at Middlesbrough.

He helped Town to reach the newly-established Premier League in 1992, as Second Division champions, when he was named player-of-the-year for the third time, having developed into a very effective centre-half.

PABLO COUNGAO (HIT & MISS)

THE Spaniard has always been a firm favourite with the Portman Road faithful. He scored 31 goals in just under 100 league appearances, up to 2005, and after a two-year spell with Malaga, he was back with Town in 2007. He top-scored with 12 goals in 2007-08 but then rather lost his way under Roy Keane and is currently on a season-long loan at Crystal Palace with his contract expiring this summer.

CHRIS SWAILES (MISS)

THE centre-half was a trainee at Portman Road (1989-91), but turned down the offer of a contract by then-boss John Lyall and signed for Peterborough United for �10,000 instead. George Burley brought him back to Ipswich, in a �150,000 package from Doncaster, in 1995. He scored an unfortunate own goal in his first Premier League appearance, in a 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa. Now 40, he is currently a player-assistant manager of Blyth Spartans.

RICHARD WRIGHT (HIT & MISS)

THE Ipswich-born keeper had chalked up 240 league appearances during his earlier stay (1995-2001), when he helped Town to reach the Premier League via the play-offs in 2000. Big-money moves to Arsenal and Everton followed, before he returned on a two-year deal in the summer of 2008, with the option of a third year.

He was outstanding in his first season, when he was voted both the supporters and the players’ player-of-the-season, but a few errors crept into his game under new boss Roy Keane and he then sustained a serious knee injury during the first-half at Cardiff City in December, 2009, which kept him on the sidelines for four months. He was released in the summer of 2010, and is now at Sheffield United.

TOMMY MILLER (HIT & MISS)

HE was originally at Town as a teenager, but was released as a 15-year-old and ended up at Hartlepool. George Burley recruited him for �750,000 in 2001, and he stayed for four years as a combative midfielder, coming into his own under Joe Royle in the Championship.

He joined Sunderland in 2005, before returning for a third time in 2007, when he made a further 69 league appearances before being released in the summer of 2009. He is now at Sheffield Wednesday.

JAMES SCOWCROFT (MISS)

IT’s perhaps unfair to judge a returning player, if he is only on loan, but Scowcroft never reached the heights of his productive first spell (1994-2001), which included 48 league goals in 210 outings and a five caps at England Under-21 level. A �3m move to Leicester followed. He was back at Portman Road on loan in the spring of 2005, but only made nine appearances and failed to score.

SHEFKI KUQI (MISS)

ANOTHER returning loan player, who had scored 20 goals in the Championship for Town in 2004-05. But he made just four appearances for Town during a brief loan stint from Crystal Palace in 2008.

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