UEFA 30: Unsung heroes played their part in success

THEY say behind every good man, there’s a good woman.

And behind every successful football team, there are the unsung heroes.

John Wark might have scored the goals, Mick Mills may have collected the trophy, but each and every one of them would tell you of the importance of Paddy ‘Doc’ Wood or Trevor Kirton.

The backroom staff were a key part of Ipswich Town’s fantastic 1980/81 campaign.

Kirton was the kit man during that season and said he was very proud to be part of the club’s achievements.


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Kirton, who was also the coach driver, added: “Everyone got on so well together, but it was not like it is now – there were only four members of the backroom team. I was fortunate and very proud.”

Eighty-nine-year-old Paddy Wood, the former club doctor, described the UEFA Cup-winning season as the most entertaining in his life.

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He said: “I went abroad with the club several times and you get to know the players well on tour. But I won’t be sharing stories! It is great to see so many old friends.”

Pat Godbold, who spent yesterday reminiscing with Town fans at the Europe exhibition in the town hall, was in a perfect position to know what the night would mean to the late Sir Bobby Robson.

Godbold, who was Sir Bobby’s personal assistant for almost 40 years, said: “He would have been over the moon. He loved his players and he would have been pleased to see everyone again. He would also have been very pleased that this event was put on. He was very proud of the club’s achievements and very proud of his players.”

David Rose, club secretary at the time, joked: “Some of the players don’t look any older than they did on that special night in Holland.

“But it is great to have these wonderful celebrations – it shows what the club is like.”

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