Mariner urges fans to back share issue
PAUL Mariner last night praised the Blues for keeping their unique family feeling and urged supporters to help them move back into the Premiership.
PAUL Mariner last night praised the Blues for keeping their unique family feeling and urged supporters to help them move back into the Premiership, writes Derek Davis.
The former Ipswich Town and England striker is over from coaching in America visiting Portman Road and the club's Academy at Playford Road and is delighted that while so much progress has been made, some traditions remain the same.
He said: "Having gone round the club for the past few days and seen the facilities, the café-shop, everything, it is a fantastic set-up. Yet there is the same feeling that I can remember from when I was here as a player. There is the same family atmosphere, which is very important. Joe Royle and the chairman have really kept that feeling."
Mariner played for Town between 1976 and 1984 after joining from Plymouth and then went to Arsenal after winning the FA Cup in 1978 and UEFA Cup in 1981. The highly-rated striker played for England at the same time as Royle and after a brief spell with Portsmouth moved to America to play for the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks.
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He still has a soft spot for Town and has bought shares in the new issue and urges supporters to get behind the club and see them back into the top flight.
He said: "What you never want to see is one of your old teams struggling. Arsenal are doing very well towards the top of the Premiership, Plymouth are doing very well at the top of Division Two. Portsmouth are back in the Premiership and Ipswich were there not too long ago.
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"I like to keep in touch with my old clubs and Ipswich's is one of the first results I look for. I could not believe it when Warky and Millsy told me they were in administration last year. It is right that we help them out and I will be part of this. I just hope whether someone has been with them a lifetime or is a new fan they will support it too.
"Supporters need to ask themselves. What am I really doing here? It could be the push to put them in the Premiership. I would really encourage them to buy shares. I know these are hard times. I appreciate that it is a lot of money but to give a few shillings to the club would be fantastic."