Town legend doesn’t want them to win at Pompey
IPSWICH TOWN: Ray Crawford faces a dilemma on Saturday when his native Portsmouth plays his beloved Blues in an npower Championship fixture at Fratton Park.
The free-scoring striker still lives in Portsmouth having played for Pompey until he moved to Portman Road and scored the goals that helped Town win the First Division title in 1962 and then promotion back to the top flight six years later.
Crawford is a regular at Fratton Park, and he will be working for BBC Radio Suffolk having yet to experience an Ipswich defeat when doing his stint beside commentator Brenner Woolley.
“This will be my last game for the radio,” said the sprightly Crawford who is abig favourite with radio listeners.
“Ideally I would like both teams to win as Portsmouth need to move off the foot of the table and Ipswich need points to continue their great start to the season.
“But as that cannot happen I’ll plump for a draw. I can speak to both sides afterwards then.
“I have five grandchildren and now is the time to give radio work a miss although I will continue to watch Portsmouth’s home games.
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“Two weeks ago I would put this down to a comfortable away victory as Portsmouth did not have a lot with players playing out of position.
“But the arrival of Dave Kitson from Stoke City and the expected loan signing of Liam Lawrence from the same club will make a big difference I’m sure.
“David Nugent has been working his socks off up front, and with more help Portsmouth can become a force in front of goal.”
Crawford’s allegiance to Pompey was shown when he was one of the 2,300 who handed over �5 to a trust fund to ensure that the football would not die in the city.
“Such was the dire financial situation that if the current club had gone under – and it came close – there would have been another club that would have started off at the lower leagues like AFC Wimbledon have done.
“We have our first annual general meeting next week and the trust looks like continuing in case the financial situation flares up again at Fratton Park.
“But fingers crossed it won’t and fingers crossed, Pompey will start to move up the table.”
There is no doubt that Crawford has similar feelings for Ipswich where he showed the form that made him the first Town player to win an England cap.
“It’s been great to see what a superb start they’ve made this season, and the goals have been going in.
“My method was never to pass in the penalty area. I always looked to make an angle and then get in a shot. If the Ipswich strikers do that I don’t think they’ll go far wrong this campaign.”