Ted Phillips at 80: Duo were deadly Ipswich Town duo
Ray Crawford arrived in Ipswich as a relative unknown and a long way from home, after being allowed to leave his hometown club Portsmouth.
He needn’t have worried, however, going on to become Town’s record goalscorer and playing his part in the Blues’ rise from Division Two to the Division One championship.
“I don’t know what the secret was,” admits Crawford, who writes a weekly football column for the Portsmouth News.
“It was just a natural partnership.
“Some players have to work at their game but myself and Ted just hit it off, it was unbelievable.
“Ted was a natural goalscorer from a distance, whereas I got more of my goals in the 18-yard box.
“I got a lot of my goals from rebounds and you knew you always had a chance of scoring if you followed up one of Ted’s shots.”
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Prior to arriving in Suffolk, Crawford had been a young striker with Pompey for whom he scored nine goals in 19 games.
“Ted was already established at the club when I arrived from Portsmouth,” said Crawford.
“I was told I was no longer part of the manager’s plans and that I could leave.
“It took me a bit of time to settle in at Ipswich. Ted had already scored 47 goals in one season at that stage and I just went there and hoped I could settle down.”
Crawford could not have dreamed what followed and by the time he left Portman Road five years later, he had amassed more than 150 goals from 219 games and helped Ipswich to the Division One league title.
“It was a lovely atmosphere at the club,” said Ray.
“I don’t think they had an international player in the team and they had come up through the divisions.
“The season after I arrived, Sir Alf (Ramsey) brought in Roy Stephenson and Andy Nelson. Everything just clicked and Alf was awesome.
“It was a sad day when Sir Alf left for the England job but a happy one for England and of course, he went on to win the World Cup.”
It is a testament to their camaraderie on and off the pitch that, more than 50 years on, they keep in regular touch and are often to be found with their wives, socialising together at Portman Road.
“We have been friends ever since our playing days and are in regular contact on the phone, at games and at the reunions we have,” said Crawford.
“We are often guests of Bernie and Joy Hood at Ipswich games and are really well looked after.”