Date: 29th March 2016 at 4:08pm
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Paul Mariner started his career with Chorley in Lancashire before signing professional terms with Plymouth Argyle, where he scored 61 goals in 155 appearances and is considered to be one of the club’s best ever players.

His remarkable goal scoring record attracting the interest of Ipswich Town and in 1976 he signed for the blues in what turned out to be on of the most astute signings ever!

Sir Bobby Robson certainly new a good striker when he saw one and in a career that spanned eight years, Mariner made a total of 260 for The Tractor Boys, scoring a very creditable 96 goals but he was more than just a goalscorer.

Great in the air and good on the ground, he was also wonderful at holding the ball up for the likes of Alan Brazil or Eric Gates to come drifting by on the outside and his close control was quite simply impeccable.

I had the pleasure of watching him play on a number of occasions and he never seemed to have an off-day and was in many respects the complete footballer.

He won an FA Cup medal with the blues in 1978 and a UEFA Cup Winners medal in 1981 when the blues had arguably the best side in their history.

Mariner became an integral part of this and he had the peculiar knack of scoring those game changing goals in crucial games.

He represented his country at the 1980 European Championships and again in the World Cup of 1982 playing in total 35 games at international level for England scoring 13 goals.

After Ipswich he moved on to Arsenal in 1984 before ending his career in the UK with Portsmouth in 1988.

Sir Bobby bought him for just 220,000 pounds all those years ago but his worth to both club and country increased year on year and from playing amateur football with Crawley, he progressed onto the world stage in a similar way to Jamie Varney, who has so successfully accomplished this with Leicester City this season.

I will always have fond memories of watching this man in action. We were blessed with many great players during this era and Mariner was up there with the best.

After playing he took up a number of jobs in coaching and management in the states, Canada and Japan but since 2013 has mainly concentrated his energies on his business interests.

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


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