Good careers, working for top clubs and drifting away from football - what happened to Town’s FA Youth Cup-winning class of 2005
Today marks 15 years since Ipswich Town’s FA Youth Cup triumph over Southampton in 2005. But what happened to the Ipswich players who lifted the trophy that night?
The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw, after Cathal Lordan’s two goals cancelled out efforts from future Ipswich strikers Leon Best and David McGoldrick, before a dramatic night at Portman Road saw Ed Upson score an extra-time winner in front of nearly 15,000 to secure the trophy for the third time in the Blues history.
Here, we take a look at what happened to the Ipswich side who played that night.
Town’s goalkeeper that night when on to make his professional debut for the Blues just a few months after the Youth Cup triumph, battling Lewis Price for the No.1 jersey at Portman Road.
He made 38 appearances for the Blues before retiring in 2009, aged just 22, after falling out of love with the game. He returned to Ireland where he played Gaelic Football to a high standard and had planned to join the Gardai (Irish police) before a recruitment freeze scuppered that plan.
He did return to football with Dublin club Bohemians in 2016, playing there for two years and even earning a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad before a hip injury forced him to retire for a second time. He now works as a recruitment consultant.
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The defender never made a first-team appearance at Portman Road, a spell which also included a brief loan at Carlisle, before being released in 2007. He subsequently spent time at Rushden & Diamonds, Crawley and Cambridge City during his playing career.
He returned to Ipswich to work as an analyst in the academy for nearly four years, before taking on a similar role with Arsenal for the last five years. He currently works with the Gunners’ Under 23 side.
The central defender was highly-rated at Portman Road but, sadly, injury meant his career didn’t hit the heights expected.
He had already made his senior debut for the Blues prior to the FA Youth Cup win, on the final day of the 2002/03 season and added four more appearances to his name in the year after lifting the trophy. There were also loan spells at Stockport and Wycombe.
Sadly, though, a persistent knee injury meant he was forced to retire after joining Cambridge United following his release from Portman Road.
The Northern Irishman is still playing, turning out for top flight side Linfield in his homeland.
He made 14 appearances for Ipswich and also had loan moves to Wycombe, Hamilton and Millwall before departing permanently to Dundee in 2009.
He has one full international cap to his name, making his Northern Ireland debut against Italy In 2009, and has regularly played in Champions League and Europa League qualifying games during his time at Linfield.
Another of the Blues’ Irish contingent, Synnott never made a senior appearance for Ipswich before returning to his homeland in 2008.
He played for Dundalk and was last known to play for Shelbourne.
The Scot, who captained Ipswich to their Youth Cup win, has enjoyed a very good career north of the border after leaving Ipswich.
He never played for Town but joined Falkirk in 2006 and impressed there in what was his first experience of senior football. He moved to St Johnstone in 2007, initially on loan, and made nearly 250 appearances there before joining Hibs in 2013.
He returned to St Johnstone two years later and remains there to this day, adding another 150 appearances to his name to put him second on the Perth club’s all-time appearance-makers list. He is also currently the chairman of the Scottish PFA.
The midfielder was another who never made a breakthrough into the first-team, instead returning to Ireland where he played for Cork City.
He’s continued to coach at the western-Ireland club and has spent the last five years working as a PE and history teacher in the city.
The powerful midfielder’s future looked bright when he made the breakthrough into the first team, scoring a memorable goal in a 3-1 victory over Colchester under the Portman Road lights in 2007.
But he was never able to claim a regular place in the side and spent time on loan at Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Millwall before joining the latter permanently in 2010.
He played nearly 150 games for the Lions before joining Bolton, Nottingham Forest and then AFC Wimbledon, after which he joined US second-tier side Orange County. Now 31, he’s currently without a club.
Moore’s playing career was a solid one, starting with a single Ipswich appearance against Sunderland in 2006 before spells with Brentford, Stevenage and Dover.
But where he really made his name was at AFC Wimbledon, where he helped the Dons win promotion to the Football League and played close to 200 games for the club.
Since hanging up his boots he’s gone into non-league management, taking charge of Leatherhead, Concord and now Hemel Hempstead.
Of all the talented players in this team, it was Haynes who made the greatest impact at Ipswich Town.
His exploits against Norwich City (officially three goals, with a debatable fourth) earned him the nickname ‘Canary Crusher’ as his pace, direct running and eye for goal made him an exciting player to watch – especially coming off the bench.
But his Ipswich career fizzled out and, after time at Charlton, Bristol City, Barnsley Notts County, Hibs and Cheltenham, he dropped into the non-league game with the likes of Ebbsfleet and Cray Wanderers. He has also worked in football consultancy and has attended games at Portman Road during the 2019/20 season.
Like Collins, Knights had already made his senior debut prior to the Youth Cup success, coming on as a substitute away at Sunderland the previous November.
That was it in terms of senior appearances, though, with a loan move to Yeovil in 2007 ultimately becoming permanent. He also played for Cambridge United before becoming established at Kidderminster over two spells, setting up home in the west midlands and becoming a personal trainer.
He’s since played for Solihull Moors and Tamworth and is now at Telford United.
The son of former England international Teddy Sheringham was the first substitute brought on during the second leg of the final, but never made the Ipswich first team.
He joined Crystal Palace in 2006 but soon dropped into non-league, with a few brief stints back in the professional game sandwiched between spells with the likes of Cambridge City, Ebbsfleet, Salisbury, Bishop’s Stortford and Hemel Hempstead.
He’s now at Leatherhead, on loan from Dartford.
The midfielder didn’t make the grade at Portman Road but has continued to play on in the local non-league ranks, representing the likes of Leiston, Bury Town and AFC Sudbury.
He has also worked in sports science, helping Bury and Hadleigh in that regard.
The scorer of the winning goal made just two League Cup appearances for Ipswich before joining Yeovil Town, where his professional career really sprung into life.
He helped the Glovers reach the Championship for the first time in their history before moving on to Millwall and then MK Dons.
He’s spent the last two years a Bristol Rovers, playing at Portman Road when the Gas beat Town 2-1 in December.
The Southampton team
It’s fair to say the Southampton side from this final have made more headlines than the victorious Blues managed to in the senior game.
Best and McGoldrick went on to play for Ipswich, of course, among other clubs, while the names Adam Lallana and Theo Walcott instantly jump off the page. They became full England internationals.
Martin Cranie and Nathan Dyer have both played in the Premier League while unused substitute Gareth Bale is the best known of the lot, starring for Tottenham and Real Madrid, where he has won multiple Champions League trophies.