I have followed the Blues for 50 plus years and this is period is the saddest of them all. That said, supporting The Tractor Boys is an act of faith, which cannot ebb away. In fact, if I am brutally honest, during my life-long love affair with Ipswich, I have probably had many more disappointing days than happy ones but our current crisis certainly takes some beating!
Although money dictates massively in the modern game, I still believe that life is in a perpetual state of flux and this applies to football just as much as anything else. You only have to look at where Sheffield United or Bournemouth are these days to believe that nothing stays the same and being the eternal optimist that I am, means that I can deal with disappointment perhaps better than most people.
I do agree however that unless owner Marcus Evans is serious about his ambitions for this club then he cannot continue to deprive managers of spending power. It is all very well wanting youth to excel but this does not come overnight and only in combination with experienced professional footballers who can guide them in the right direction. We all want our young players to blossom but this won’t happen unless the right strategy is employed on the training field.
I often wonder, as I have just recently celebrated my 65th birthday, whether I will ever see the day when Ipswich Town make it back to the top flight of football? The way things are at the moment it is a big ask but things can change dramatically in the life of a football club and who really knows what the future holds?
For now, though, I must be grateful for the glory years that for some of you reading this, will probably never be repeated. Winning the FA cup in 1978 and the Uefa Cup in 1981 is a period of my life that I treasure very dearly. To witness Town beating Everton 4-0 at Goodison Park was another fantastic memory and watching Kevin Beattie in his prime is something I will always cherish fondly.
And I had the privilege of witnessing George Best in an Ipswich shirt for the Sir Bobby Robson testimonial. There were 23,000 at Portman Road that night and Best laid on both goals for Town in a 2-2 draw with an England eleven which included both Russell Osman and Terry Butcher! All those fabulous memories will stay with me to the grave and I feel blessed to have seen the Blues at their best – in every sense!