Plenty of Ipswich Town memories in this new book

SPORTCarl Marston, ITFC Correspondent.Pics Sarah Lucy Brown 14/10/09

Carl Martson's new book takes a trip down memory lane when he covered Ipswich Town and Colchester United - Credit: Archant

A newly published football book, with a distinct East Anglian flavour, should prove a big hit with Ipswich Town and Colchester United supporters alike.

This bumper 350-page book, 'ON THE ROAD WITH U'S AND BLUES,' features a rip-roaring tour around the press boxes of more than 120 Football League and Premier League grounds, spread over a period of 30 years.

And it's quite appropriate that the book should be unveiled this summer, with the two clubs enjoying closer links than ever with the recent moves of Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse, Freddie Sears and Alan Judge, from Portman Road to the Community Stadium.

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On the Road with U's and Blues - out now - Credit: Contributed

The author, Bury St Edmunds-born Carl Marston, joined the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star (then-Evening Star) newspapers as a sports writer in 1989, and has spent most of the intervening years travelling up and down the country, following the fortunes of both Town and the U's.

The book traces his escapades in press boxes up and down the land, 124 of them in all, topped off by a final chapter highlighting the best/worst grounds of players and managers themselves, including former Town stars such as Mick Mills, George Burley and Simon Milton, plus ex-U's stalwarts like Karl Duguid, Paul Abrahams and Geraint Williams.

The book is also sprinkled with photographs taken by Warren Page, who has likewise followed the fortunes of both Town and the U's on the road since the early 1990s. The duo have cherished, or perhaps endured, each other's company in the Archant pool car on hundreds and hundreds of long away trips over the last 30 years.

MIDDLESBROUGH V IPSWICH TOWN 7.8.10 PIC : MARTYN HARRISONTamas Priskin - IPSWICH 2ND GOAL

Tamas Priskin scores at Middlesbrough in 3-1 win for Town in 2010 during the Roy Keane era - Credit: BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

After a stint following the dramatic rise of Cambridge United, at the start of the 1990s - including an unforgettable season which almost ended with John Beck's upwardly mobile side reaching the new Premier League - Carl became the regular reporter of Colchester United after the Essex club's return to the Football League in 1992, spanning three decades across three divisions.

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He later became a familiar face in the Ipswich Town press box, including two years shadowing the enigmatic Roy Keane, which amounted to a rollercoaster ride of emotions following every game of the high profile Irishman's controversial reign.

Carl had made earlier appearances, on the Town press bandwagon, during the eras of John Lyall, Joe Royle and George Burley, some of which are featured in the book, while clocking up more than 1,000 outings covering the U's.

GRIMSBY V IPSWICH TOWN FOOTBALLGeorge Burley stonyfaced on the touchline at GrimsbyEADT 12.1

George Burley at Grimsby a few days before his sacking in 2002 - Credit: Archant

From Manchester United to Accrington Stanley, from Layer Road to Portman Road, beginning at The Abbey, Cambridge, and ending at Moor Lane, Salford, Carl recounts his colourful career in chronological order.

Along the way, he brushes shoulders with such big-name managers such as Kenny Dalglish, Six Alex Ferguson and Kevin Keegan, and enjoys close relationships with U's bosses Roy McDonough, George Burley, Steve Wignall, Steve Whitton, Phil Parkinson and alike, plus Town supremos Royle, Keane and Paul Jewell.

Over the years, Carl has been left behind by the team-coach (at Torquay United), arrived late just once (at Wrexham), been treated like a king (at the Emirates) and struggled to get in (at Doncaster's Belle Vue).

In the early days, he was accompanied by a mobile phone which had a battery the size of a suitcase, long before the emergence of Twitter, Blogs, Vlogs and Podcasts.

Those were also the days when Town were regular dwellers in the top flight. His Town experiences, in the book, range from the depths of a 3-0 defeat at Grimsby in 2002, which prompted the dismissal of boss Burley, to the heights of a trip to Arsene Wenger's Arsenal in 2011.  

- To obtain a copy of 'ON THE ROAD WITH U'S AND BLUES,' it is recommended to visit the publisher's website JMD media at - https://www.jmdmedia.co.uk/ - where you can get 25% off the RRP by using the code - marston25.

- The book is also available from Amazon. Alternatively, you can email carl.marston@archant.co.uk for further details.

Any proceeds from the book will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Donations to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carl-marston1  

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