McKenna pays tribute to Town legend Mariner

He's no mug: Paul Mariner enjoys a pre-kickoff mug of tea before his side take on Ipswich on Saturda

Paul Mariner, pictured before his Plymouth side took on Ipswich when he was coach at Argyle. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna has paid tribute to club legend Paul Mariner.

Tomorrow's game between Town and Plymouth, at Portman Road, has been dubbed 'Paul Mariner Day' in honour of the man who was adored by both clubs' fans.

The former England international, who was a key member of Town's FA Cup and UEFA Cup winning sides of '78 and '81, sadly died of brain cancer last year.

“He’s such a big part of the traditions of this football club," said McKenna. "He was a mainstay and such an important part of one of the most successful teams that it has ever produced and a big reason why we have the football club as it is today.

“We wouldn’t be in this position and have the following that we do if it wasn’t for the success of the team that Paul was such a big part of.

“I’m very pleased that we continue to respect and acknowledge those traditions when we can, and the legends who have represented the club are such a big part of that.

“I’ve enjoyed watching some more of Paul’s career lately, obviously it was a little bit before my time of watching football live, so I’ve enjoyed watching some old videos back and seeing his style of play and watching some of his goals, and also just finding out more detail on the fantastic success he had here.

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“For the supporters who remember that team this weekend is a really good occasion that they can celebrate Paul and the fantastic achievements that he had for the football club and hopefully we can connect that with what will hopefully be a bright future for the club.”

Asked if there was any footage of Mariner in particular that had caught his eye, 35-year-old McKenna replied: "It’s obviously hard always sometimes in the footage to see who the opposition is, but he was such a powerful forward and some of the headers, you could just see the physical presence that he had in terms of leading the line.

“I think a striker of that ilk will never go out of fashion and certainly any era of the teams on the pitch tomorrow would certainly be happy to have a striker of Paul’s ilk up front.

“He was obviously a fantastic player and it’s great to look back at some of the goals he scored at the club.”