Ipswich Town’s top 100 – numbers 20 to 11, Kieron Dyer to Bill Baxter
Lifelong Town fan Terry Hunt continues his look at Town’s best 100 players, starting today with Kieron Dyer at number 20
20: Kieron Dyer
Born only a few hundred yards away from Portman Road, Dyer was the archetypal local boy made good. Although his appearances with Town in the play-offs ended in heartbreak, it was the money from his sale to Newcastle which allowed Burley to put the finishing touches to his promotion team. Dyer’s later career was blighted by injury.
19: Brian Talbot
Ipswich boy Brian Talbot famously spilled blood for the team when scoring the first goal in the 1978 FA Cup semi-final against West Brom. Talbot won the cup with Ipswich that year, and was in the winning team 12 months later after moving to Arsenal.
18: Paul Cooper
The only member of the 1981 team who wasn’t a full international, Cooper was unlucky that his goalkeeping career came at the same time as Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence. Cooper had a phenomenal penalty-saving record, saving eight out of ten in 1979-80.
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17: Jimmy Leadbetter
It could be argued that Scot Jimmy Leadbetter won the World Cup for England. It was Ramsey’s genius tactical move to withdraw wingers Leadbetter and Roy Stephenson which flummoxed opposing teams and saw Ipswich win the First Division championship at the first attempt in 1962. Four years later, Ramsey did it again, this time with England.
16: Alan Brazil
Inevitably nicknamed “Pele,” Alan Brazil was a fantastic goalscorer for Ipswich. There can have been few better at converting when through one-on-one with the keeper. Brazil was part of the UEFA Cup winning side, and memorably scored five times against Southampton in 1982. Later moves were less successful. Brazil is now a popular breakfast show presenter with Talk Sport.
15: George Burley
A fresh-faced teenager when he made his debut against Manchester United, and proceeded to mark George Best out of the game on the legend’s last appearance at Old Trafford. Burley went on to play 500 times for Ipswich, and later returned for a memorable spell as manager, taking the team back to the Premier League and finishing fifth in their first season.
14: Trevor Whymark
Like Clive Woods, Norfolk boy Trevor Whymark was stolen from beneath the noses of the Canaries. Phenomenally powerful in the air, Whymark scored goals consistently for Town, forming striking partnerships with David Johnson and then Paul Mariner. Highlight was scoring four times in a 7-0 win against West Brom. Low point was missing the FA Cup final through injury – although Margaret Thatcher made him her man of the match because his name was listed in the programme!
13: Tommy Parker
Tommy Parker is an Ipswich Town legend after being a mainstay of the side from immediately after the Second World War until the late 1950s. For many years, he held the record for most Ipswich Town appearances. After retiriing, he was a member of the club staff for many years.
12: John Elsworthy
Welshman Elsworthy was at Ipswich Town for the best part of 20 years, and was one of the players who won titles in the third, second, and first divisions with the same club in a relatively short space of time. Extraordinarily, he never played for Wales.
11: Bill Baxter
Scot Baxter was part of Alf Ramsey’s 1962 League Championship winning team, and was captain of the side which won promotion back to the top-flight in 1968 under Bill McGarry. Given the quality of his performances over such a long period, it was astonishing he never played for Scotland. His time at Town came to an acrimonious end after a changing-room fight with Bobby Robson.