Ipswich Town’s all-time record on TV is not as bad as you might think

Marcus Stewart scored a hat trick at Southampton in 2000

Marcus Stewart scored a hat trick at Southampton in 2000

They may be on a run of 11 TV games without a win in 2015, but columnist Karl Fuller shows the Blues’ all-time record on the box isn’t as bad as the recent pass would suggest.

Ipswich won promotion in front of the Sky cameras in 2000

Ipswich won promotion in front of the Sky cameras in 2000

Earlier this season after our live TV game at Reading and after yet another dismal defeat, I began to wonder how many of our games have been screened live over the years and what our overall record was. After all, we often say how we never play well on TV.

So I set out to compile a complete list of all live games and soon realised the mammoth task I had ahead of me.

Fellow Town fan Paul Bloomfield had the same idea and he was able to source the minds of many other fans and, between us, we have created a list which we now believe to be complete (thanks for all your help Paul).

So if you are one of those fans that contributed to this by recollecting a live game and reminding us of it, I sincerely thank you.

Roger Osborne and Mick Mills after Ipswich won the FA Cup in 1978
PICTURE OWEN HINES

Roger Osborne and Mick Mills after Ipswich won the FA Cup in 1978 PICTURE OWEN HINES - Credit: Archant


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I must also thank Sean Salter who was also on hand to offer some help early on in this mini project.

So, how bad are Town on TV then?

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I was surprised to learn that results-wise, it is not as bad as one would imagine.

If we think we have been poor in general, then maybe the games that we have won have been scrappy affairs too.

Noel Hunt sets off for the Ipswich bench after scoring Ipswich's injury time winner at Charlton

Noel Hunt sets off for the Ipswich bench after scoring Ipswich's injury time winner at Charlton

To date, we have featured in no less than 146 live matches of which we have won 53, drawn 30 and lost 63.

In total, Town have faced 56 different opponents in these games with over a third of the games unsurprisingly having been against arch-rivals Norwich.

In the 19 games that we have played against them on TV, we have won just six, lost 10 and drawn three.

Our next most played opposition is Coventry City where seven of our meetings have been screened live, Town edging this one by four wins to three.

Town have scored 192 goals and conceded 209 on TV so far and a total of 77 different Town players have contributed towards our goals tally (plus five own-goals).

Marcus Stewart leads the goalscoring charts with 12, followed by Pablo Counago (eight).

Three players have scored live hat-tricks, the first of which was Stewart at Southampton in April 2001.

Dean Bowditch was next in a 4-1 home win over Watford in March 2004 and Alan Lee was the last player to do so when we hammered Luton Town 5-0 at Portman Road in October 2006.

This game incidentally was our biggest-ever win in front of the live cameras.

Talking of records, who can forget the biggest defeat – a 7-1 thrashing against Peterborough United, at London Road, in August 2011?

Roger Osborne was, of course, the first Ipswich player to score live on TV with his goal against Arsenal in the 1978 FA Cup Final and whilst that was a great way to get off the mark for our first-ever televised game, our 50th match shown live also happened to be at Wembley – the 2000 play-off final win over Barnsley.

And if you’re wondering how we fared in our 100th live game, well that wasn’t too bad either as this was a 2-1 away win at Norwich in February 2006 thanks to goals from Jimmy Juan and Danny Haynes.

Our 100th live goal also came against Norwich, scored by Pablo Counago in a 1-1 draw at Portman Road in September 2002.

No fewer than 10 different managers have reigned over televised ITFC games.

Sir Bobby Robson and Ian McParland share something in common in that they have both had just one game in charge of us on the box and both oversaw 1-0 cup wins against Arsenal.

John Duncan had one game too and one defeat.

John Lyall won just three of his 14 games in charge whilst George Burley has had the most games on TV with 59 that saw us both win and lose 24 times.

Joe Royle won 10 and lost nine of his 25 matches whereas Jim Magilton won 50% of his games – seven wins from 14 and five defeats.

Roy Keane won only one of his eight games, a 3-0 win over Leicester City in the snow and Paul Jewell had an exact 50/50 split in wins and defeats in his six matches.

Mick McCarthy might not want to read this as out of his 17 games so far, Town have won just the three.

Sky remains our most successful channel in respect of a win ratio as we’ve won 37.9% of our games on there (47 wins v 52 defeats in 124 Sky games). The BBC is our least favourable channel with just 25% of our games won on there (3 wins v 6 defeats in 12 games).

Overall, 117 of our matches have been league games which have seen us win 45 of these, 18 have been cup matches with six wins whilst there have been 11 play-off matches which have yielded just the two wins.

The final against Barnsley of that year represented the start of our longest winning run of six matches that culminated in the 3-0 win at Southampton a year later.

The most defeats in a row is eight, which came between March 1994 (a 2-1 defeat at home to Wolves in the FA Cup) and November 1995 (a 2-1 defeat away at Norwich).

The current run of 11 matches on TV without a win (dating back to a 1-0 defeat at home to Derby County in January this year) represents the longest winless run we have ever experienced in live games.

Hopefully that will change in less than two weeks-time when we are next ‘live’ as we visit Charlton Athletic at The Valley – the scene of our last success on TV almost a year ago.

Finally, my favourite game of all that I have personally seen live on TV (and therefore not being at the game), has to be Liverpool away in the FA Cup in February 1992.

OK, we may have lost but we pushed them all the way in extra-time which showcased our credentials that later that season saw us win our league.

Of those that witnessed the game, who will ever forget Gavin Johnson’s header and then Jason Dozzell putting us in front?

Other great memories from live games include beating Norwich 2-1 in 1996 – the game that had that air-kick by goalkeeper, Bryan Gunn, beating Inter Milan 1-0 at Portman Road thanks to Alun Armstrong’s goal, the aforementioned 1-0 win over Arsenal four years ago and coming back from 2-0 down at half-time at Barnsley to win 5-3.

A full list of games can be found at either: www.thefullerflavour.co.uk and www.ipswich.myclubontv.co.uk

Get involved in all the discussion ahead of tomorrow’s game with Match Centre. Live updates begin tomorrow at 11am.

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