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Ipswich Town Football Club (also known as Ipswich, The Blues, Town, or The Tractor Boys) is an English professional association football team based in Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk. As of the 2017–18 season, they play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English game. The club was founded in 1878 but did not turn professional until 1936, and was subsequently elected to join the Football League in 1938. The only fully professional football club in Suffolk, they have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with Norwich City in Norfolk, with whom they have contested the East Anglian derby 142 times since 1902. Ipswich won the English league title once, in their first season in the top flight in 1961–62, and have twice finished runners-up, in 1980–81 and 1981–82. They won the FA Cup in 1978, and the UEFA Cup in 1981. They have competed in the top two tiers of English football uninterrupted since 1957–58, currently the longest streak among Championship clubs after Coventry City were relegated in the 2011–12 season. Ipswich gained promotion to the inaugural Premier League in 1992. After three seasons in the top flight they were relegated in 1995, but returned to the Premier League in 2000, where they managed to stay for only two seasons. They have competed in all three European club competitions, and have never lost at home in European competition, defeating Real Madrid, AC Milan, Internazionale, Lazio and Barcelona, amongst others.

Links To Peel

Although a lifelong Liverpool supporter, Peel frequently accompanied wife Sheila Ravenscroft (and occasionally one or more children) to Portman Road to watch Ipswich Town [1]. Although originally a follower of her local team Bradford Park Avenue in her early years, Sheila had become a keen supporter of the club following the couple's move to East Anglia. John would later admit how important the team had become to her:

"After she was ill a few years ago, it has been Ipswich Town that have contributed a great deal more to her rehabilitation than I certainly did, and I owe the team an enormous debt of gratitude for that." (24 October 2001)

Peel would often mention his visits to Ipswich Town and their results (see Football (Known Matches Attended) and Football (Matches Mentioned)). On the programme of 30 October 1993, Sheila supplied a guest review of the Ipswich v Everton game that had just been played that afternoon.

The DJ's devotion to Liverpool caused a degree of friction in the Peel household, particularly in the two seasons from 2000-02 when Ipswich were in the Premier League and the two sides had to play each other. As fate would have it, Ipswich's final match of the Premier League season 2001-02 was a visit to Anfield. The result was a crushing 5-0 defeat, which relegated Ipswich only one year after they had surprised the football world by finishing fifth in their first season back in the top flight [2]. In the reverse fixture earlier that season, Liverpool had thumped Ipswich 6-0 at Portman Road [3].

Similarly, East Anglian rivalry with Norwich City occasionally proved to be the source of discontent if results did not go the way of the Suffolk club. Despite this, Peel remained friends with celebrity cook and long-time Norwich co-owner Delia Smith.

After Peel's death in 2004, Town Chairman David Sheepshanks paid tribute on the Official Club Website:

"It's utterly tragic to hear of the death of John Peel. I will always think of John as one of life's good guys and for me a kind of hero since his pirate radio days. A delightfully gentle and modest man, he was a dear friend to the Club and although his first allegiance was to the red of Liverpool, his wife Sheila and many other friends in Suffolk succeeded in nearly turning him blue and white! On behalf of everyone at Portman Road I send our deepest sympathy to Sheila and all of John's family." [1]

Plays

  • 15 November 1989: Edward Ebenezeer And Supporters: Come On Ipswich Town (2xLP - Flair 1989: The Other World Of British Football, 2xLP, Confection, 1989)
  • 30 October 1993: Johnny Cobnut: Ipswich Football Calypso (CD - Bend It! 93: Soccer-Boppers … Pop Explosion … Football-Style ...) Exotica
  • 06 November 1993 (BFBS): Johnny Cobnut: Ipswich Football Calypso (CD - Bend It! 93: Soccer-Boppers … Pop Explosion … Football-Style ...) Exotica
  • 30 May 2000: Singing The Blues (v/a album - Singing The Blues: The Songs Of Ipswich Town F.C.) Cherry Red
Match commentary
  • 04 March 2003: Local radio commentary of Ipswich's 2-0 victory over local rivals Norwich City at the weekend.

External Links

References

  1. As John admitted to Pat Nevin on 29 April 2004, "it's only 13 miles away as opposed to 240 and we can get in.".
  2. The fifth place finish earned the club entry to the UEFA Cup tournament the following season. Ipswich's run ended in the third round with a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Inter Milan.
  3. Results the previous season had been better, with the Tractor Boys earning a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Portman Road and a 1-0 away victory at Anfield.
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