Kieron Dyer asks Simon Milton to name his all-time Ipswich Town dream team
Former Ipswich Town star Kieron Dyer continues his series of interviews with his former Blues teammates as he talks to club legend Simon Milton.
KD: Legend is a word used a lot in football. I must admit I hate being called a legend having only played two and a half years for the team. Your career Simon has enjoyed real longevity at Portman Road. You have been player of the year, Supporters’ Player of the Year, won a promotion with the club, inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now, for me that is a legend. Of all those things, were you surprised about being entered into the Hall of Fame?
SM : Yes, it came as a massive surprise, because I’m involved in the voting! No, joking apart you don’t get a vote unless you are actually in the Hall of Fame, so I can’t say I had anything to do with it!
I would never call myself a legend. What you have done at a club constitutes that term.
But if you walk around calling yourself a legend, you will lose friends very quickly.
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I look back and think, crikey, it’s 28 years ago I came here from a non-league club (Bury Town), spending 11 years in the team and then 17 years working behind the scenes. I’m blessed to have had this opportunity. I’ve sort of had two careers at Portman Road really.
Career No.1 started at the age of 23 as a player and career No.2 started when I finished as a player. It has evolved and is still evolving. I chose a commercial career after I stopped playing and it’s been amazing.
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KD: You won promotion to the top-flight in 1992 and were Supporters’ Player of the Year in 1996. Are those the biggest highlights at Portman Road for you?
SM: It was fantastic to be voted supporters’ player of the year. The year I won was a good group too, with the likes of Alex Mathie and Ian Marshall. To be fair I’d been here nine years, so I wasn’t the new kid on block.
George Burley was the manager then. I was actually signed by John Duncan, then had John Lyall as a boss, then George. The supporters’ award was great to win but being promoted to the Premiership in ‘92 and being part of a title-winning team under John Lyall, was a time myself and the team will never ever forget.
KD: OK, so you spent a long time playing at Portman Road. What would be your all-time Ipswich XI you played with?
SM: My all time Ipswich XI? Thanks for the warning on that one Kieron! Here goes then.
Well, the majority of time I played with just two ‘keepers.
Craig Forrest was a top keeper and a really good lad and then following him was Richard Wright. What a ‘keeper he was. Young and totally unflappable, Richard was another academy player who bought into Ipswich way of doing things. If I had to go for a keeper it would be Richard.
When we signed Maurico Taricco, he came with Adrian Paz, a striker.
Taricco was the smaller name of the two, but boy did he make an impression. He was a horrible little player to play against. He’d kick you in training and you’d kick him back.
I played with him, either behind me at left or right back when I played in midfield.
He always gave the ball at the right time, he went round you at right time. He’d be one of my full backs.
The other and very much a big part of the team at the time was Neil Thompson. Like me, he played non-league and almost every game at left back. His, 75-yard diagonals were just superb.
I’d have John Wark as one and David Linghan as the other.
The majority of time I played with John he was at centre-half and really good. He was still one of the best-ever finishers I have seen in the game and at free-kicks and corners, he was a big goal threat.
David Linighan came to the club and gave everything, every day, every game, home or away, sunshine or rain, he gave the lot. He was a very strong centre half.
Him and Warky were a good partnership in the year we went into the Premiership.
I played 330 games for Ipswich, but my first choice for that position doubled that.
Mick Stockwell is as honest as the day is long.
Very fit, he could run all day, positionally never got caught out, played up front and scored plenty of goals.
I think he was at Town for 17 years and is the third-highest appearance maker behind Warky and Mick Mills.
Gavin Johnson could have been a top top player.
He had big injuries but still played and played. When he was younger he was like a Rolls Royce, he ate up the ground.
We all remember his goal at Anfield.
Matt Holland and ok, I’ll have you in there too Kieron!
I played with Matt the last couple of years of my time at Ipswich. He was a good, honest pro.
He put a shift in every week, did the good things well, bought into the ethos of the club.
Well, what can I say about you Kieron?
People ask me who are the best players I have played with and I do have to admit you and Warky are the two.
You were just starting out when I first played with you.
I remember you joining in training as a young lad, trying to beat everyone. We would batter you and knock you about, but the changes came and you started to develop.
You’re in my team for what you went on to achieve with Newcastle and England especially.
Up front I would play Jason Dozzell and Chris Kiwomya.
I loved playing in midfield with those two.
Kiwomya was a willing runner and scored goals and you could put the ball over the top and he would try to get onto it.
Jason had tremendous finesse. When those two were on song in 1991/92, they were really on song and were a massive part of promotion that year. On their day they had great understanding and they were good pals off the pitch too.
Both got big moves in the end – Dozzell to Spurs and Kiwomya to Arsenal.
They deserved their moves.
Jason was very laid back, while Chris was always asking questions. Both came through the youth team like so many did.
In fact, I’ve just realised that seven of my team I’ve just mentioned came through the youth team – and I honestly didn’t do that on purpose.
Then again, I do think if you do come through a club’s youth section or academy, you understand the club more.
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