Lowestoft fans to follow in Ipswich Town footsteps after signing Guentchev

WIN, lose or draw, Ipswich Town fans always had a soft spot for Bontcho Guentchev.

To the tune of 2 Unlimited’s No Limit, the name of the Bulgarian forward was a feature chant on the terraces of Portman Road in the 1990s.

Now another set of local fans are hoping Guentchev can be a success in Suffolk after Bontcho’s son, Lubomir, signed for Lowestoft Town.

The fact Town are gunning for promotion in the Ryman League Premier Division was obviously an attraction for the ambitious 24-year-old who was plying his trade at mid-table Hendon.

But Guentchev openly admits he was pining for a return to the county where his Dad was such a popular player.

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The attacking midfielder said: “I have wonderful memories of my Dad playing for Ipswich. I will never forget the sight of him playing against Manchester United and Arsenal.

“I think he was a real fans favourite because he was down to earth and worked hard for the team – and he scored a few key goals. I think he was a bit biased but he always told me I was a better player than him.”

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After failing to make the grade at Ipswich Town in the mid-2000s, Guentchev Jnr actually had a spell at Lowestoft before playing in the German fourth division for FC Union Berlin.

He then played full time in his native Bulgaria for PFK Naftex Burgas before moving to West London where he combines football with a media tech and web development degree.

In a rather colourful career, it is perhaps unsurprising that he has not been able to return to the scene of one of his father’s greatest footballing triumphs.

But if his own career allows, he would love to return to Portman Road and sit among those who once chanted the name ‘Bontcho Guentchev’ with such gusto.

He said: “It will be really good to go back to the Ipswich area. I was at the club for a while and played a few games for the reserves and the whole set-up was just outstanding. There was this great bond between all the players, whether first team, reserves or youth. It was like a really close family.”

Bontcho Guentchev scored 11 goals in 51 starts for Ipswich between 1992 and 1995 – playing in the USA World Cup during his time in Suffolk – before later joining Luton Town and CSKA Sofia. He is now taking his coaching badges in Bulgaria.

n What are your favourite Bontcho Guentchev memories? Tell us at starsport@eveningstar.co.uk

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