What’s your favourite East Anglian derby day memory?
The East Anglian derby has a long and rich history of good and bad moments for Ipswich Town fans – but what’s your favourite memory?
Here we take a look back at six famous derby days to help you make your mind up...
Texaco Cup Final, 1973
Ipswich Town 4 Norwich City 2 (on aggregate)
It’s all too easy to forget how big this was at the time. It came at the end of a season in which perennial strugglers Ipswich had confounded their critics by qualifying for the UEFA Cup after finishing fourth in the league.
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It was the start of a great era, and the Texaco Cup provided solid silver evidence of exciting progress. Of course, the fact that Norwich were our opponents added extra spice!
The two legs of the final were played inside three days. Peter Morris scored twice at Portman Road, but a late Clive Payne goal for Norwich made it tight going into the Carrow Road leg.
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We needn’t have worried – Norfolk boys Trevor Whymark and Clive Woods put Town out of sight. A late David Cross goal was irrelevant. Cue Mick Mills lifting the huge trophy!
Megson OG, December 1993
Ipswich Town 2 Norwich City 1
A fantastic early Christmas present for all Town supporters. The game seemed to be meandering towards a 1-1 draw after John Wark’s early goal was cancelled out by Mark Bowen. Then, as the game headed into injury time, Town won a corner…
In the ball came, straight on to the head of City defender Gary Megson. He leapt like a salmon, and bulleted the ball straight into the back of his own net.
Oh, how we laughed! Oh, how we danced! Oh, how we celebrated! At the risk of sounding cruel, there is a little better for diehard supporters than a last minute winner against your local rivals, complete with comedy element! More was to come three years later, of course.
That season, Town escaped relegation by a single point, in the last minute of the final day of the campaign. Thanks, Gary!
Bryan Gunn air kick, April 1996
Ipswich Town 2 Norwich City 1
Down the decades, the pitch at Portman Road has been famed for its quality. Many times it’s been voted the best pitch in the country. But, towards the end of the 1995-96 season, it wasn’t looking at its finest. In fact, when Norwich City arrived to take on the Boys in Blue, the action took place on what bore more than a passing resemblance to a ploughed field.
In a game which is only remembered for one thing, the other detail is generally forgotten. Ian Marshall put Town ahead, but Jamie Cureton (green hair and all) equalised for the Canaries.
Then came the iconic moment. In the 86th minute, left-back Robert Ullathorne rolled a gentle back-pass towards Bryan Gunn. The Scottish keeper decided to clear it first time.
Deliciously, the ball hit one of the many divots, bounced over Gunn’s foot and trickled into the back of the Norwich net. Gunn sank to his knees, covering his face with his hands. And so a legendary derby moment was born.
Alex Mathie hat-trick, February 1998
Ipswich Town 5 Norwich City 0
Arguably the most famous Ipswich-Norwich derby of them all - for Town fans, at least!
The fun started as early as the second minute, when Alex Mathie swivelled after collecting a throw-in and lashed an unstoppable shot past hapless Norwich keeper Andy Marshall. Scottish striker Mathie added two more to complete his hat-trick before half-time.
Mathie didn’t reappear for the second half because of a slight niggle, but it really didn’t make a difference. Dutch winger Bobby Petta took over the goalscoring duties, adding two more - the second one courtesy of a dreadful blunder from Canaries keeper Marshall.
Those were the days when Ipswich scored goals for fun. Three days later, the Blues scored another five, this time against Oxford, with Mathie’s strike partner David Johnson helping himself to a hat-trick.
Canary Crusher Danny Haynes
Let’s be honest - Danny Haynes wasn’t the greatest-ever Ipswich Town player. But his brief Town career will live long in the memory for one reason - his incredible goalscoring record against the old enemy. Haynes scored four times against them, earning himself the nickname of Canary Crusher.
His most famous Canary Crushing moment came in the 88th minute of a match at Carrow Road in February 2006. With just a couple of minutes to go, the match was 1-1.
Town attacked and Alan Lee headed the ball across the six-yard box. Haynes threw himself at it, and the ball ended up in the net. The Norwich defenders appealed furiously for handball and, on the replays, it did look mighty suspicious.
But who cared? We’d won the game!
Town’s most recent win
Ipswich Town 3, Norwich City 2, April 2009
Another derby game, another handball controversy which went Town’s way. This one came on the hour, with the scores level at 1-1. Town striker Kevin Lisbie tumbled when challenged by Norwich keeper David Marshall. Penalty, said referee Neil Swarbrick. Norwich complained that not only was there minimal contact, but Lisbie had also used his hand to control the ball. Unfazed, Gio dos Santos (now only our second-best ever loanee) put Town ahead from the spot.
Earlier, Alan Quinn had equalised for the home side after Norwich took the lead. Jon Stead made the game safe in the 90th minute, meaning an injury-time goal for the Canaries didn’t matter.
Interestingly, Town boss Jim Magilton was sacked the following day. Since then, derbies have been pretty painful for Ipswich. Let’s hope that changes on Sunday.