Ramsey, Robson... Southgate? A proud record Ipswich Town fans will be happy to see scrubbed
There are three big Ipswich Town records in the history books but could one be about to be broken?
Never beaten on home soil in European club competitions. Ever. And there were 31 of those games played during a 40-year stretch between 1962 and 2002. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Lazio, Inter Milan were all Suffolk scalps.
Remarkable. That sort of run is unlikely to ever be matched again.
Then there’s the unwanted one – that 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United, at Old Trafford, in March 1995. It remains the biggest margin of defeat in the Premier League era. Sadly, there’s a good chance that will forever stand too.
Which brings us nicely onto the record which fills Blues fans with immense pride, but which they’d also be quite happy to see scrubbed tomorrow.
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It’s less of a record, more of a quiz question. The only two managers who have led England to the semi-finals of a World Cup or further were both recruited from which club?
Sir Alf Ramsey’s ‘wingless wonders’ lifted the Jules Rimet trophy at Wembley in 1966. Then Sir Bobby Robson’s men were beaten by West Germany on penalties in the semis of Italia ‘90.
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Born in Dagenham and Durham respectively, but very much made as managers in Suffolk. They are the reason three stars – representing a top-flight title, FA Cup and UEFA Cup – adorn the Town shirts. That’s why two stands bear their names and two statues stand outside the ground.
And now, 28 years on from the tears of Gazza and the sound track of Pavarotti, the Three Lions stand on the brink of reaching the last four once again.
Gareth Southgate; the waist-coat wearing, mild-mannered man from Watford who has got the nation to fall back in love with their national team again. You get the feeling that Messrs Ramsey and Robson would very much approve of his methods.
No doubt about it, we need new history to be made at both Ipswich Town and England. The wait for success has been too long.
The Blues’ own new era starts under manager Paul Hurst in the coming weeks. For now though, all eyes are on Russia.
A World Cup quarter-final against Sweden with Russia or Croatia awaiting the winners. How many times have you said that out loud in the past couple of days?
No-one’s saying it will be easy. But then again, an opportunity like this might not come along again for a very long time. Is football really coming home? Dare to dream – that is, remember, what football is all about.
Come on England!