Ipswich Town’s top 100 players: Numbers 80-71 – Mick McNeil to David Best
- Credit: Archant
You may not think it at the moment, but Ipswich Town have a rich history of fielding some fantastic players.
Today we look at numbers 80 to 71, including the likes of Jon Walters, Titus Bramble and Martijn Reuser.
80: Mick McNeil
England full-back who was signed from Middlesbrough, but his Town career was blighted by injury. He is best known for the string of sports shops he opened in Suffolk and Essex.
79: Jon Walters
A bargain buy from Chester City after impressing against Ipswich in the FA Cup. He did so well at Town that Premier League Stoke snapped him up.
78: Colin Harper
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Ipswich-born left-back who put in some top-quality displays for Bobby Robson’s first great team. A serious knee injury sadly ended his career.
77: David Geddis
In our top 100 for one huge reason, his efforts in the 1978 FA Cup final, where his brilliant run and cross set up the winner for Roger Osborne. Geddis enjoyed a fine match that glorious Wembley day and had many good games for Town.
76: Martijn Reuser
Reuser was a real fans’ favourite - flamboyant, charismatic, always prepared to try the spectacular. We’ll never forget him racing through to slam home the fourth, clinching goal in the play-off final in 2000.
75: Titus Bramble
Surely the only professional footballer called Titus? Ipswich boy Bramble sprang to prominence in Town’s glorious 2000-01 season, when they finished fifth in the Premiership. He scored a memorable goal at Portman Road against Sunderland, surging from the halfway line, and playing a one-two with Marcus Stewart before blasting the ball home. A big money move to Sir Bobby Robson’s Newcastle United followed. He also played for Wigan before finishing his career at Sunderland.
74: Mich D’Avray
South African-born D’Avray suffered due to inevitable comparisons with his predecessors at Ipswich – Paul Mariner and Alan Brazil. He gained a regular starting place after the departures of the big names, and as Bobby Ferguson’s team was struggling to avoid relegation from the old First Division. D’Avray was very strong in the air, but was never a prolific goalscorer. In more recent years, he has held coaching jobs in South Africa and Australia.
73: Derek Jefferson
The polite way to describe Jefferson’s style of play would be “uncompromising.’’ Older Town supporters will remember his nickname with affection – “Chopper Jefferson.’’ He formed an effective defensive partnership with skipper Bill Baxter in the 1968 team which won promotion back to the First Division under Bill McGarry’s management. Jefferson went to Wolves but never established himself as a first-team regular at Molineux. He left the game to focus on Christian work.
72: Richard Naylor
“Bam Bam” or “Psycho” – take your pick! – was a huge favourite among Town fans, with his popularity being helped by the big part he played in the play-off final at Wembley in 2000. Naylor came on early for the injured David Johnson and put Town on the road to victory with a delicately taken goal early in the second half. Later in his career, Joe Royle successfully converted Naylor from a striker to a very solid centre-back who played alongside Jason de Vos.
71. David Best
Best joined Town after the team won promotion back to the First Division in 1968. He replaced Ken Hancock, who had been an important part of Bill McGarry’s second division championship winning line-up. Best played more than 160 times for Ipswich before the emergence of Lowestoft lad Laurie Sivell – diminutive but so agile and courageous. Best faded from the first-team picture before moving to Portsmouth.
What do you think of the list? Who would you rank as the top players to ever play for the Blues? Let us know by commenting below or by e-mail at email@example.com.