Tributes to former Town physio

FORMER Ipswich physiotherapist Tommy Eggleston has died. He was 83.Current Town boss Joe Royle led the tributes yesterday when he recalled: "Tommy was a massive help to me at the start of my career.

FORMER Ipswich physiotherapist Tommy Eggleston has died. He was 83.

Current Town boss Joe Royle led the tributes yesterday when he recalled: "Tommy was a massive help to me at the start of my career.

"When I joined Everton from school he was the first-team coach. I made my debut at 16 and became a regular at 18, and as a young lad feeling my way Tommy was a major influence on me.

"He had a lovely sense of humour, but no one took liberties with him. He was also a strict disciplinarian when he needed to be, but he was a true gentleman and I am extremely saddened by the news.

"Tommy used to take myself and some of the other youngsters out in the afternoons for an extra hour or two. He was such a great striker of the ball and I've a lot to be grateful to him for."

Tommy became a coach and manager, as well as physio, after a playing career interrupted by the Second World War and then ended prematurely by injury. He was also a qualified chiropodist.

Most Read

He arrived at Portman Road in November 1977 and retired at the end of the 1984-85 season. He leaves a widow, Frances, married daughter Linda and two granddaughters.

His first club was Derby County, whom he joined in 1936, and 10 years later he played a part in helping the Rams to their first, and so far only, FA Cup success.

Although wing-half Tommy was involved in the earlier rounds, he did not play in the final itself, a 4-1 extra-time victory over Charlton Athletic. That same year he moved on to Leicester and in 1948 was transferred to Watford, for whom he went on to make 177 appearances and score six goals in the Football League.

When his playing career ended Tommy turned to coaching and was with Sheffield Wednesday before joining ex-Hillsborough boss Harry Catterick at Everton.

Tommy was appointed manager of Mansfield in July 1967 and after three years with the Stags he was tempted by a £10,000-a-week offer to take charge of Greek club Ethnicos. Upon his return to England he rejoined Everton and then turned to physiotherapy. He was with Plymouth Argyle for two and a half years before replacing Brian Simpson at Ipswich.

In his first season he was back at Wembley as Town triumphed in the FA Cup final, Tommy's big moment coming when he tended to goal hero Roger Osborne as he was overcome with emotion and exhaustion after firing past Pat Jennings.

Town's route to Wembley required them to visit Bristol Rovers in the fifth round and on the morning of the game Tommy was enjoying a stroll, something he did every match day.

He came across a man who had collapsed in the street, having apparently suffered a heart attack, and Tommy quickly administered the kiss of life.

He formed a close working relationship with Catterick and the pair's combined efforts helped Everton to the League Championship in 1963 and the FA Cup three years later.

Ironically, Catterick collapsed and died after the FA Cup quarter-final at between Everton and Ipswich at Goodison Park in March 1985, when Tommy was present.

An extremely popular member of staff at Ipswich, Tommy and Frances moved to Tockwith, North Yorkshire, after his retirement and they remained there until his death this week.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter