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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Ipswich Town legend Ted Phillips dies

PUBLISHED: 14:46 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:45 09 January 2018

Ted Phillips in action for Town. Picture: ARCHANT

Ted Phillips in action for Town. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Ipswich Town legend Ted Phillips, the player reputed to have the hardest shot in football in his prime, has died at the age of 84. Here, former sports editor TONY GARNETT pays tribute.

He formed a lethal strike partnership with Ray Crawford which was crucial to Ipswich Town’s spectacular climb up the Football League ladder, winning the Second Division Championship in 1960-61, and the First Division Championship at the first time of asking the following season.

Manager Sir Alf Ramsey got the very best out of Phillips whose ability to shoot with immense power with either foot from 30 yards put fear into the top goalkeepers of the day.

- MORE: Town pay tribute to Ted Phillips

Sometimes the ball would scream into the net. Often ace predator Crawford would score from a rebound from a Phillips thunderbolt. There were times, too, when spectators standing half way back in the Churchmans or North Stand would be ducking for cover.

Ted was a Suffolk boy born in the hamlet of Gromford near Snape. He started his football career at nearby Leiston before doing his National Service. He was recommended to Ipswich manager Scott Duncan by Leiston Town boss Ian Gillespie.

Ted Phillips pictured back in 2013. Picture: ARCHANTTed Phillips pictured back in 2013. Picture: ARCHANT

For a while he would not sign because he could earn better money as a gardener at Tunstall. Then he accepted on the agreement that his travelling costs would be paid and he would receive £8 a week.

Phillips made his debut for Ipswich at Watford in March 1954 but it was not until 1955-56 season that Ted started to show his true potential when Ramsey was in his second season in charge. Injuries frustrated Ted who spent 1955-56 season with Stowmarket in the Eastern Counties League. Ipswich, though, retained his registration.

It was not until 1956-57 season that Ipswich realised that they had a prize asset.

Ipswich lost their first three matches in Division Three (South) without Phillips in the team. He was selected in place of team captain Tommy Parker for the home match with Bournemouth at the end of August and soon became an automatic choice.

That season he scored 41 League goals and five FA Cup goals as Ipswich won the title on goal average from Torquay United. Colchester United were one point behind. It was the season that Ramsey started to build his Championship winning team with Roy Bailey, Jimmy Leadbetter and John Elsworthy already installed.

'The Terrible Twins', Ray Crawford and Ted Phillips (right). In the Championship year they scored 61 goals between them.'The Terrible Twins', Ray Crawford and Ted Phillips (right). In the Championship year they scored 61 goals between them.

- MORE: Ipswich Town’s top ten best-ever players

Crawford arrived from Portsmouth in September 1958 but Ted’s partnership with Crawford really began to develop in 1960-61 when Ipswich won the Second Division title by a point from Sheffield United. Crawford scored 40 League goals and Phillips scored 30.

In the Championship-winning season Crawford scored 33 in the League and Phillips 28. Ted’s were the spectacular ones.

Alf Ramsey’s tactical talks went way above Ted’s head. It is doubtful if he listened to them at all. Alf was not worried. He just wanted Ted to strike the ball at goal and Ray to pick up the pieces. The service was usually provided by Jimmy Leadbetter, John Elsworthy or Roy Stephenson.

It was a pity that Ted never won an England cap. He attended one international training session, hurt his ankle, and Jimmy Greaves was picked for the match. It would have been interesting to see Crawford (capped twice) and Phillips up front alongside each other.

Former Ipswich Town strikers Ray Crawford (left) and Ted Phillips were reunited at a book signing session in Ipswich for Crawford's Curse of the Jungle Boy book. The pair helped Ipswich shock the football world in 1961-62 when Ipswich won the old First Division Championship

Picture: CONTRIBUTEDFormer Ipswich Town strikers Ray Crawford (left) and Ted Phillips were reunited at a book signing session in Ipswich for Crawford's Curse of the Jungle Boy book. The pair helped Ipswich shock the football world in 1961-62 when Ipswich won the old First Division Championship Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ted’s practical jokes have become part of Ipswich Town folk lore. Sometimes Alf’s training would not involve a football, but Ted usually had one hidden away as often as not in the coke pile used for heating the water in the dressing rooms.

- MORE: Ted Phillips at 80

Once he filled the medical bag, taken on an away trip by trainer Jimmy Forsyth, with stones. He emptied a coach of a busy tube train in London by shouting “all change”.

He won a bet with Ipswich chairman John Cobbold when he ran out at Portman Road for a Boxing Day match wearing a ginger wig. Many supporters thought there had been a new signing.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says winger Danny Rowe needs to get fitter if he is to feature more for the first team.

Sir Alf Ramsey was one of Ipswich Town and England’s greatest-ever managers. Some would say he WAS the greatest. Few reporters had the access to Sir Alf as former EADT/Ipswich Star and Green’Un editor TONY GARNETT enjoyed. Here are some of his memories

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today we feature wins over Leicester City and Manchester United among others.

Cole Skuse agrees that his team mate and good friend Luke Chambers has probably taken on too much responsibility as Ipswich Town captain.

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has ruled out Paul Hurst returning to the club following his recent sacking by Ipswich Town.

More than 500 tickets have been donated for Ipswich Town’s home game against West Brom next Friday evening after one small act of kindness gained online momentum.

Toto Nsiala may currently find himself on the fringes of the Ipswich Town first-team but the central defender continues to make an impact off the field each and every week.

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Andre Dozzell has revealed his frustration as his return to action stalled earlier in the season but the teenager is now hungry for minutes on the field after returning to the first-team picture.

In past columns I have talked about a divide between athletes that earn large amounts of money, and those that do not, and how there is a movement in Ipswich to bring this sporting diversity together.

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