My favourite Ipswich Town XI: Stephen 'Foz' Foster

Sport

Sport - Credit: Archant

In a continuation of this popular feature, MIKE BACON talks to former Radio Suffolk presenter and current PA announcer at Portman Road, STEPHEN 'FOZ' FOSTER about his favourite Ipswich Town XI.

Craig Forrest pictured during the lap of honour when the Blues won the Second Division title in 1992

Craig Forrest pictured during the lap of honour when the Blues won the Second Division title in 1992 - Credit: Archant

Goalkeeper: CRAIG FORREST

For me one of the great ambassadors of the club and a fine goalkeeper.

He seemed to exude confidence around his defence, which is what it's all about for me.  A very safe pair of hands, he also had a good choice of music. I remember going to a gig at the UEA in Norwich with Craig to watch The Georgia Satellites, a group I love. Craig was a big fan and Frank Yallop tagged along with us. Football-wise, Craig was an integral part of the team that won the old Second Division in 1992. I went to virtually every game, home and away that season.  He was a tower at the back. His only sour moment was probably the 0-9 defeat at Man Utd, of which he wasn't at fault for any of United's goals!

Town skipper Mick Mills wins a robust challenge against Arsenal's Alan Sunderland. Mills tops Carl M

Town skipper Mick Mills wins a robust challenge against Arsenal's Alan Sunderland in the 1978 FA Cup final. - Credit: Archant

Right-back: MICK MILLS

Mick played more games as a left-back in his early days. A club legend.

A model professional as a player and manager. But his managerial career didn't really do the business, but as a player, he was exceptional. A great captain, lifted the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, World Cup captain for England, record number appearances for Town. Even chipped in with a few important goals. Mick was an old-style full-back, defence was his number one priority. I enjoy listening to him on Radio Suffolk. I know some fans think he might go on a bit some times about tactical analysis, but I think he's often spot on.

Big Allan Hunter is a Town icon. Picture: OWEN HINES/ARCHANT

Big Allan Hunter is a Town icon. Picture: OWEN HINES/ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

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Centre-half: ALLAN HUNTER

'Big AL', as we called him. Nothing would ruffle his feathers!

I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of him on the pitch! I remember him looking after a young John Wark in those epic FA Cup sixth round replays against Leeds in the mid-70s at Filbert Street. That was the sign of a great centre-half. I liked watching him for Northern Ireland in the Home Internationals, where of course he was in the same team as the great George Best. I still bump into Allan from time to time in Ipswich. For me, the centre-half of Ipswich Town during my time watching the Blues.

Centre-half: TERRY BUTCHER

There are so many great memories and stories of Terry, that's why he is such a favourite of mine.

Kicking down the dressing room door (allegedly!!!) at Norwich City after we were knocked out of the League Cup semi-final at Carrow Road, all that blood playing for England. A man who won the UEFA Cup, but was there for a few more years after that and was sadly in the Town side that was relegated. He moved to Rangers, where he became a huge hero. What a fantastic player. He loved his heavy metal as well and joined me on the Headbanger's Ball on the radio. He insisted we went out for a beer at the Great White Horse Hotel afterwards. Another great ambassador for our club.

Mauricio Taricco celebrates his goal against Norwich City in 1996

Mauricio Taricco celebrates his goal against Norwich City in 1996 - Credit: Archant

Left back: MAURICIO TARICCO

He was a fantastic left-back and was never afraid to get forward.

Mauricio would get stuck in as well, he loved the games against Sheffield United and played to the Portman Road crowd. Weighed in with a few goals as well. He was one of those players the fans took to after joining with Adrian Paz. In fact Taricco played a lot of reserve team football first, but broke through and held his place. He was such a  positive left-back. A sort of new-style wing-back. He would also make sure the winger knew he was there. I liked that.

Sam Morsy is a vital member of the Ipswich Town squad

Sam Morsy is a vital member of the Ipswich Town squad - Credit: Archant

Midfield: SAM MORSY

A current Blue and a guy who has made all the difference at Ipswich Town in recent times. Already he is becoming one of my favourite players.

A tough midfield player, he'll always pick up yellow cards, maybe a red or two, but he'll get stuck in. And he's proving a more attacking option in the midfield for Town. I think if Kieran McKenna can get another tough-tackling midfielder alongside Morsy in the middle of the park, it will allow him to get further up the pitch. You know with Sam Morsy at the helm you are in with a shout. The sort of midfielder I think we have been missing for many, many years.

Frans Thijssen with his Town Player of the Year trophy in 1980 Photo: ARCHANT

Frans Thijssen with his Town Player of the Year trophy in 1980 Photo: ARCHANT

Midfield: FRANS THIJSSEN

Part of the dream midfield of Arnold Muhren, John Wark and of course Thijssen.

Between them they had it all and Frans would run rings round opponents. I remember him once doing it to Gerry Francis at Portman Road, who was England captain at the time. Thijssen mesmerised him with his skills. I know people wax lyrical about the UEFA Cup side, but it really was a dream team that Thijssen was so much a part of. For me, one of the greatest midfield players Ipswich have ever had and easily one of my favourite ever players.

26 - Jimmy Robertson

26 - Jimmy Robertson - Credit: Archant

Winger: JIMMY ROBERTSON

A very early signing for Bobby Robson back in the day and helped save the club from relegation when he arrived.

Jimmy had quite a pedigree, he had won the FA Cup with Spurs, was also an Arsenal player. He came to Portman Road at a time when we badly needed goals and results. He was a key part of Town staying in the top-flight under Bobby. Along with Frank Clarke, who sadly died recently, they were a great pairing. I persuaded my dad to begin to stand in the West Stand, near the tunnel where the players came out. It wasn't the best place to watch, but I'll never forget the smell of the liniment on the legs of Jimmy Robertson when he used to take corners. The things we remember!

Clive Woods was at the double on this day in 1976

Clive Woods was at the double on this day in 1976 - Credit: Archant

Winger: CLIVE WOODS

He played a big part at Wembley in the 1978 FA Cup final.

A wonderful, tricky, winger, who also notched that famous goal for Town against Leeds a few years earlier in the fourth replay of their sixth round clash at Filbert Street. We won 3-2, but lost the semi-final of course. Clive was a very important piece of the team for Bobby Robson, but he fell a bit by the wayside after the FA Cup final as Bobby rebuilt the team. But what a wonderful player, a proper winger. You never knew if he was going inside or outside if you were the full-back. Town were an attractive side to watch, thanks to players like Woods.

Striker: PAUL MARINER

The complete centre forward. And what a character off the pitch.

Another guest of mine on the Headbanger's Ball, he loved his rock music. Paul travelled to the studio in treacherous wintry conditions the night he came in, but was in great form on the programme. He loved the likes of Saxon, Deep Purple and Iron Maiden. I've lost count of the number of great goals he scored for Ipswich. A great broadcaster as well in the States after he finished playing football. I have nothing but admiration for him as a footballer and personality.

Shefki Kuqi celebrates after scoring for Ipswich Town in his own unique way. Photo: Colin Shaw

Shefki Kuqi celebrates after scoring for Ipswich Town in his own unique way. Photo: Colin Shaw

Striker: SHEFKI KUQI

I like big characters on and off the pitch, and Shefki was, and is, that.

A big player in the Joe Royle era, Joe did well to pull together exciting teams with little money and of course Shefki was a big part of it. Joe had a bit of a gung-ho style of football to a degree, which suited Shefki down to the ground. Shefki was always a gentleman to talk to. He and Darren Bent were a great combination. I nearly put Darren in this side with him. Of course, Shefki came back on loan to Ipswich for a while and was back in Ipswich recently where he spoke to fans on the microphone at Portman Road.

Substitutes: Richard Wright, Kevin Beattie, George Burley, Arnold Muhren, John Wark and Ray Crawford.

JOHN LYALLES 17 09 03EADT 20 12 04

John Lyall, won promotion for Town in 1992. - Credit: Archant

Manager: JOHN LYALL

John did the business for Town, getting us promotion in 1992.

His first season in charge, he didn't really pull up any trees and I was a bit worried to be honest. But the second season he came up with a way of playing, that other teams in the old Second Division couldn't cope with. John is my favourite Town manager and with good reason.


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