Ray recalls day the Saints came alive

IPSWICH Town legend Ray Crawford today recalled how calmly manager Alf Ramsey took the 7-1 FA Cup thrashing at the Dell in 1960/61.Town travel to Southampton's current St Mary's ground for a fourth round FA Cup game this afternoon (kick-off 3pm) looking to end a cup hoodoo against the Saints.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town legend Ray Crawford today recalled how calmly manager Alf Ramsey took the 7-1 FA Cup thrashing at the Dell in 1960/61.

Town travel to Southampton's current St Mary's ground for a fourth round FA Cup game this afternoon (kick-off 3pm) looking to end a cup hoodoo against the Saints.

That 7-1 thrashing is their record defeat in the competition, and they also lost 3-2 in 1990/91 at the Dell. Ten seasons ago, the south coast club was then in the Premiership and they left Portman Road with a 1-0 victory thanks to a Dean Richards goal.

Ironically, Town gained promotion from the second tier of English football in both 1961 and 2000 with the heavy defeat 49 years ago a real shock to the system.

Free-scoring Crawford went on with his team mates to gain promotion to the First Division that campaign, and then amaze the football world by winning the top division in their first season.

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“We were full of optimism and Sir Alf named a full-strength side,” Crawford recalled.

“But we were 6-0 down at the interval.

“We sat in the dressing room at the break expecting a rant and rave from the manager.

“But he stood there calmly and said 'Hello lads, I suggest you go out and enjoy yourselves in the second half.'

“Within 30 seconds he was gone leaving us in the dressing room to collect our thoughts.

“Sir Alf had a magical way with words that would ensure he got the best out of his players.

“But that day he left it to us, and we went out and 'drew' the second period.”

Crawford says that perhaps the team were not as well prepared as they should have been.

“We were perhaps a little bit relaxed as it was a break from league football and it was a bit of a day out.

“But it was just one of those days for Southampton.

“Everything their midfielder George O'Brien did came off that day - he had five shots and scored four goals, one from the by-line.

“Two weeks later we returned to the Dell with a very similar side and drew 1-1 in the league with Ted Phillips scoring our goal.”

Crawford is proving to be a lucky omen for Town as he has yet to see them lose when working for BBC Radio Suffolk.

But he will not be at St Mary's today as he will be watching his home-town club Portsmouth in FA Cup action against Sunderland.

“But I will be listening to the radio and keeping abreast of how Ipswich are doing,” said Crawford.

Ipswich have also been beaten in the League Cup by Southampton, losing 2-0 at Portman Road in 1990.