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New Season, New Team: Ipswich Town

The Tractor Boys will be in the third tier of English Football for the first time in 62 years.

29 May 2019

A closer look at another newbie in League One next season, Ipswich Town.


Ipswich Town are also known as ‘The Tractor Boys’ and they were founded back in 1878. They didn’t actually turn professional until 1936 and two years later they were then elected to join the Football League.

Ipswich won the Division Three title twice in quick succession and it was after winning it for the second time in the 1956/57 season, under the guidance of Sir Alf Ramsey, that they then went on to establish themselves in Division Two where they ended up becoming champions and gaining promotion in the 1960/61 season.

In their first season of playing top-flight football Ipswich won Division One in the 1961/62 season, meaning they then qualified to play in the European Cup for the following season, where they were knocked out by AC Milan.

Ipswich started to decline after the loss of manager Sir Alf Ramsey in 1963 when he left to take the role as England National team manager and eventually went on to win the World Cup in 1966.

Two years after winning Division One Ipswich were relegated to Division Two and manager Jackie Millburn resigned, to be replaced by Bill McGarry in 1964. They remained in the Second Division for four years until McGarry guided them back to Division One after winning the league by a single point ahead of QPR in the 1967/68 season.

The years 1969 to 1982 were known as the Bobby Robson era as the iconic former manager led the Tractor Boys to two major trophies and several seasons of European football. The start of the successful period was in 1973 when they won the Texaco Cup and finished fourth in the league. Their major success came in 1978 when Ipswich beat Arsenal at Wembley to win their only FA Cup. They followed this up with a UEFA Cup trophy in 1981 and finished as league runners-up in 1981 and 1982. Robson attracted a lot of interest, but it was The FA that lured Robson away from Portman Road when he became England Manager in July 1982.

From 1982-1994 Ipswich suffered relegation back to the Second Division after Robson’s departure, but in May 1990 they appointed John Lyall as manager and he then guided them to the Premier League ready for the 1992/93 season. Then 1994-2002 was another up and down period which involved another relegation in the 1994/95 season, however they did end up getting back into the Premier League with a play-off final win in the 1999/00 season, however they suffered relegation back to the Championship a year later.

2002-2019 brought a stagnant period for Ipswich. Between 2002-2018 they did not move from the Championship, a total of 16 years at the same level, and that was broken last season when they were relegated to the third tier of English Football for the first time in 62 years.

The Manager

Paul Lambert, former Borussia Dortmund midfielder and one-time manager of Ipswich’s rivals Norwich City, is the man at the helm for the Portman Road side as they prepare for life in Sky Bet League One.

Perhaps better known as a player for St Mirren, Motherwell and Celtic, the 49-year-old Scotsman was the man to steer the Canaries out of the same division that he finds himself in with Ipswich. That success with Norwich came nine years ago, and they were able to build on that momentum the following season to gain successive promotions into the Premier League.

In 2012 Lambert opted to join Aston Villa but it was in his third season that his race at Villa Park was run and he was sacked. Since then he has been manager at Blackburn, Wolves and Stoke before taking up his position at Ipswich.

Previous Meetings

Ipswich and Southend have played each other a total of 31 times, Southend have won 10 of them, Ipswich have won 11 and there’s been 10 draws. The last time these two teams met was on the 10th March 2007 and Southend ran out 2-0 winners. The first ever time these teams met was on 27th August 1938 and Ipswich won that one 4-2.

Three Facts

- Luke Hyam began his career out at Ipswich Town and will therefore go up against his former club next season.

- Former player Anthony Wordsworth has also represented both clubs.

- Ipswich’s home ground is called Portman Road and has a capacity of 30,311.

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