Date: 28th May 2019 at 5:43pm
Written by:

I am now 64 and as far as the Beatles song goes, I lost my hair a long time ago. My worry is not about hair but whether I will see the Blues in the Prem again? I guess we could wait for an awfully long time and it may have even changed its name again by then anyway!

Now as the years pass me by inexorably I am getting seriously concerned.  I have gone beyond the mid-life crisis because if you multiply 64 by 2 you get 128 and I don’t know anyone who has lived that long, do you? The club I have loved for more than 50 years is going backwards, and I am beginning to wonder whether the Grey Reaper might decide that enough is enough and put me out of my misery?

My wife reminds me constantly that there are more important things in life than football and my beloved Ipswich Town. She is right of course, but I struggle at times to find them. So many of my living hours have been spent eating drinking and sleeping the Blue dream. It is obsessive I know but I cannot get them out of my blood and more to the point I suppose, nor do I want to.

Next season will be tough. It is a rough old league down there, and there are some big clubs still struggling to get out of it. Sunderland missed out in the play-off’s and Coventry City never even got that far! Our best chance is probably next season though because, after that, I think it will become increasingly more difficult to escape. We are in need of some reinforcements and this is especially apparent in attack because goals win games and we are simply not scoring enough.

I am fearful too that the physicality of Divison One might find us wanting. Players like Teddy Bishop and Andre Dozzell might have to punch above their weight to survive in it and trying to play pretty football in this division will prove to be the ultimate challenge.

So then, will we get to the top flight of football again before I depart this earth? Or will it only be the memories of past triumphs that I will have to hold onto so dearly? I suppose it depends on how long it takes us to start looking up again and not looking down and I have never had a good head for heights I’m afraid.



5 Replies to “Premier League Before I Die?”

  • Know how you feel Frank, I am also 64! As a schoolboy living in Leicestershire in the Bobby Robson era it was brilliant being a Town fan. So many great memories. Trouble is, they are memories only. The past 17 years of marking time in the Championship have become increasingly dour. I for one think that Paul Lambert is the right man for the job. Sure the results achieved under him weren’t much better than under his hapless predecessor, the other Paul. However the fans like him and the crowds increased last season in spite of our dire results. Reading the tea leaves, Marcus Evans seems to have learnt some unpalatable truths. It is madness for the owner of our club to fail to engage with our fans. He seems to be moving in the right direction belatedly. Next season will be a rude awakening to life in the lower leagues but if we sign some decent strikers and have more luck with injuries next season I think we will bounce back at the first time of asking. I think the bookies have got it right in picking Sunderland, Portsmouth and us for promotion come May 2020.

    • I am very proud of your attitude Sam. When I first started supporting the Blues it was all because my big cousin said they would get relegated from the old First Division but they didn’t and I won the bet! Slowly but surely under Sir Bobby Robson, they began to establish themselves and the rest, as they say, is history. Richard is probably right. Shock therapy might do the trick – although I am concerned about the fragility of some of our most promising youngsters, in what is undoubtedly a tough old league. I too I am hopeful that Paul Lambert is a good choice and there is little doubt that Marcus Evans is determined to engage with his long-suffering fans after so long hiding in a football bunker. Bookies rarely get things wrong so if we make a good start – which I believe is vital, then we can hit the ground running, and perhaps I am not too old to enjoy the pleasures of an Ipswich Town revival after-all.

  • I am only 24 but you have so much history to cherish that I will never see in my lifetime. yes playing in the premiership is amazing (season ticket holder 05/06) years after we were relegated, I only know championship football! But I have come to learn that there is so much more to the football than the league we play in, I feel so much closer to the club this year in our worst season ever and finally got the love back after the last couple of years. I hope one day we will be back in the premiership if we only stayed up as the mega money started coming in the year after! but we go to each game if its pre-season at Braintree to league cup games at Arsenal to cheer the boys in blue! COYB

    • You have nailed it, Sam. The key to supporting a club is exactly that, and if you want to be a fair-weather fan then it is probably wiser to support a Manchester City or a Celtic. You don’t get as many rainy days supporting them but surely the real thrill of following a team is to see it develop from its humble beginnings. There is nothing more exciting in my view that to see the club that you follow gradually improve, and that is hopefully where we are at now. You might not get as many sunny days as a Barcelona fan but when the sun shines on the club you love, the impact is so much more real and you need a very good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes because the experience is truly dazzling!

  • Hi Sam
    I was talking to my son earlier tonight. Our family moved to NZ 26 years ago but are still passionate Town fans.
    Point he made is that there are Ipswich fans in their late teens who have only known Championship football. I was 3 years old when we were last in the 3rd Division of English football. The good news for all of us is that IF everyone at our club from Evans, Lambert, O’Neill and the players gets their act together we can and will get back to the Championship and then the EPL while I am still in the land of the living. Clubs like Leicester, Brighton, Southampton, Watford and Bournemouth have the same disadvantages that we do compared with the big 6 but we can match them at least and do well. The Blues have drifted aimlessly for years but a good dose of League 1 shock therapy will be good for ITFC in the long run.

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