Goal ratio, six-day working weeks and the start of Sir Alf - a look back at 1957, the last time Town were in the third tier
After their long-predicted relegation was confirmed, Ipswich Town will be playing third tier football next season for the first time since 1957. Mark Heath looks at what sport – and life in general – was like back then
The last time
Ipswich Town last played at such a lowly level of English football in the 1956-57 season, when they won the then Division Three South title under the man who would go on to be a Blues and England legend, Alf Ramsey.
Ramsey, who had been appointed as Town boss in 1955, replacing Scott Duncan, duly led the Blues to the Division Two title in 1960/61, and with it a spot in the top flight.
And, of course, Town weren’t just content to make the numbers up – they famously won the Division One title the very next season, in 1961/62.
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The team back in that Division Three South wining season was stacked with players who would go on to legendary status at Portman Road.
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Ted Phillips, John Elsworthy, Jimmy Leadbetter, Larry Carberry and Basil Acres are household names for Town fans, with Phillips especially lauded - the inside forward was once said to have the hardest shot in all of football.
The squad also boasted the likes of keeper Roy Bailey, centre forward Wilf Grant, wing half Dennis Thrower, Scottish full-back Ken Malcolm and Welsh duo Billy Reed and Doug Rees. There were 21 players in all - a far cry from today’s current squad, which numbers almost 40.
The 1956/57 league
Phillips’ 42 goals fired Town to the title – which they won on goal ratio over Torquay United, who finshed level on 59 points, the Blues scoring 1.9 goals a game to the Gulls’ 1.4. That method of separating teams was eventually axed in 1976/77.
It was actually local rivals Colchester United who looked set to win the title, but they lost their last three games in a row to finish in third spot, a point behind the top two.
Town’s most-famous old foes, Norwich City, meanwhile, finished rock-bottom of the table.
Sporting champions in 1957
The famed ‘Busby Babes’ of Manchester United were Division One champions in 1956/57, seeing off runners-up Spurs and third-place Preston by eight points. Aston Villa beat United in the FA Cup Final, though, winning 2-1 to lift their first major trophy in 37 years.
Elsewhere in sport, Australian Lew Hoad successfully defended his men’s title at Wimbledon, while American Althea Gibson made history as the first black player to win the title in the ladies’ event.
South African Bobby Locke won his fourth British Open golf title at St Andrews, and the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio won his fourth straight Formula One championship.
Conservative Harold Macmillan was in the first year of his term as Prime Minister in 1957, having replaced Sir Anthony Eden, while Queen Elizabeth II was just four years into her reign, at the age of 31, and would make her first televised Christmas broadcast.
At the 29th Academy Awards, Around the World in 80 Days won the Oscar for best film, while Yul Brynner (The King and I) and Ingrid Bergman (Anastasia) took the best actor and actress gongs.
Staying across the pond, Dwight D. Eisenhower was in the middle of his eight-year term as President of the United States, while Elvis Presley was the biggest-selling musical artist.
Life in 1957
There were just two TV channels back in 1957, and average earnings were £7.50 a week – with an average house costing £2,000, roughly five times the annual wage. Now it costs roughly eight times your average annual salary to get on the property ladder.
On the roads, only four million cars were being driven around the UK, a figure which has now soared to more than 37 million.
In the home, many toilets were still outside, while only one in five households had a washing machine, and just one in 20 had a fridge. The working week was six days, with employees only allowed half the annual paid holiday we get now.
The first Frisbee
The first-ever Frisbee toys were released for sale in January 1957, having been invented by Walter Frederick Morrison in the late 1940s, who originally dubbed it the ‘Pluto Platter’.
But his idea was bought by the Wham-O toy company, who changed the name and launched what would be a hugely-successful toy.
Rumour has it the name originally comes from empty pie tins made by the Frisbie Pie Company, which college students would throw around in Connecticut in the late 1800’s.
Born in 1957
Pop sensation Donny Osmond was born on December 9, while a singer of slightly diferent musical style, Sid Vicious, arrived a few months earlier on May 10.
Noted actor Daniel Day-Lewis was also born this year, on April 29, with all-round talent Stephen Fry taking his first breaths on August 24.
Oscar-winning director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta on March 20, and future Olympic champion figure skater Jayne Torvill arrived on October 7.