John Lyall

John Lyall - Credit: Archant

The late John Lyall was also inducted into the Ipswich Town Hall of Fame recently.

The former West Ham manager who passed away in 2006, aged 66, led the Blues back to the top-flight, in 1992, following a six-year absence, the club lifting the second division title.

Town ended the season four points clear of nearest rivals Middlesbrough, with the likes of Chris Kiwomya and Jason Dozzell playing major roles in the team’s success.

Lyall then led Town to the lofty heights of fourth place in the newly-formed Premier League by January 1993, but a dip saw them finish the season in 16th.

He resigned as Town manager in 1994 but will go down in history as the man that guided the club back to the top-flight after a disappointing decline during the mid-80s.

The then-Town manager Joe Royle said at the time of Lyall’s death: “I almost signed for him once in 1977 – it was a choice between going to West Ham or Bristol City and Bristol were more interested at that stage.

“I sometimes wondered what would have happened if things had turned out differently.

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“I sat opposite him in the dugout occasionally, and it was clear that he always had the respect of his players. He was a fine tactician and very good with the players.”

Former Blues manager George Burley also said at the time of Lyall’s death: “Although I didn’t know him personally very well, he was highly-respected in the world of football.

“He was tactically a very good coach and his teams always played very good football. I remember many battles with his West Ham teams during my playing days.”

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