Were these the best Irish stars to ever play at Portman Road?

George Best turns out for Ipswich Town at Portman Road in November 1979 in Bobby Robson's Testimonia

George Best turns out for Ipswich Town at Portman Road in November 1979 in Bobby Robson's Testimonial match - Credit: Archant

Our latest instalment of the Twelve Days of Ipswich Town Christmas looks at Irish players.

Over the years, many Irish stars have played in the blue and white of Ipswich Town. Just to clarify, editor Terry Hunt has chosen from players who were/are eligible to play for either Northern Ireland or the Republic. Their birthplaces might have been somewhere completely different!

George Best

I know, I know… but it’s good to dream, isn’t it? Of course, Best did famously turn out for Ipswich, but sadly only in Bobby Robson’s testimonial game. Surely the greatest of all British footballers.

Bryan Hamilton


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Impressed Robson playing for Northern Ireland in the 1971 Home Internationals, and by the start of the following season he was a Town player. After a slow start, developed a great knack of scoring from midfield. Just don’t mention referee Clive Thomas to him…

Danny Hegan

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Although born in Scotland, twinkle-toes Danny qualified to play for Northern Ireland. He starred for McGarry’s promotion team, and in my view made a mistake in leaving Portman Road when he did. He missed out on the glory years.

Matt Holland

A truly great signing by George Burley. Captain fantastic, ever-reliable, good tackler, but good disciplinary record, lots of goals, and ultra- versatile – happy to fill in at centre-back, and even in goal on one famous occasion. All round nice guy, too.

Allan Hunter

With the backing of chairman John Cobbold, Robson signed Hunter as a hugely important component of his first great side. Hunter formed a magnificent partnership with Beattie. The FA Cup Final of 1978 was a memorable swansong for “Bacon and Eggs,’’ as Robson affectionately called them.

Jim Magilton

Another Burley masterstroke, Magilton played such a big part in our promotion in 2000 after so much heartbreak. Jim always demanded the ball, never hid, and could see a defence-splitting pass. We’ll never forget that heart-stopping hat-trick in the play-off semi against Bolton.

David McGoldrick

Recently discovered he is qualified to play for the Republic of Ireland, and made a great debut recently, alongside Daryl Murphy. McGoldrick’s passes set up two goals for what is a resurgent Republic team.

Daryl Murphy

The big striker is in the form of his life, with 16 league goals at the halfway point of the season. At 31, he’s finally making maximum use of his power and strength to intimidate defenders. A transformed player.

Jonathan Walters

Ipswich grabbed Walters from Chester after he impressed for them against Town in an FA Cup tie. Had a good goalscoring record for the Blues which eaned him a move to Stoke City and the big time. Had possibly the most famous sickness bug in the history of football.

Kevin Wilson

“Jockey” Wilson is something of a forgotten man in Town’s history, because he came on the scene just after the glory years had come to an end. But he was a cracking striker, with a great scoring record.

See yesterday’s top 10 - the top Scots to play for ITFC - here

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