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On This Day - Saturday 28th April 1962
Written by clivebleedingthomas on Saturday, 28th Apr 2018 09:22

As a 15-year-old I make my way to Portman Road full of anticipation and anxiety. Our rivals, Burnley, are playing at home to already relegated Chelsea. A home win must be on the cards. On the following Tuesday they will play their game in hand against Sheffield Wednesday. However, Town are top of Division One and facing Aston Villa.

Over 70 minutes have passed as I sit on my wooden seat in the old Portman Road Stand. Two rows behind me John Arlott, more associated with his cricket commentating, is seated compiling a report for tomorrow's Sunday paper.

Town are attacking Churchman's, the ball comes back off the bar and Ray Crawford nets the rebound with a diving header. Portman Road explodes.

Minutes later, Ray gives the Villa defence the slip and he is one on one with their keeper. The inevitable happens we are two up and there is bedlam as a sea of blue and white encompasses the ground.

The Town have have done their bit, but what of Burnley, who must fail to win for Town to take the title? Our match ends, but at Turf Moor the game against doomed Chelsea continues.

No radios were readily available, no social media, no mobiles, no one knows the state of play up in far off Lancashire.

The players stand around expectantly, not leaving the pitch. We all wait for what seems a long time but is only in fact around five minutes. The public address announcer clears his throat and in a remarkably constrained manner tells us all: "Burnley 1, Chelsea 1, Ipswich Town are champions of England!"

The pitch is barely visible as a large part of the 28,000 attendance join the players and celebrate together.

Two hours later a banner stretches across Carr Street outside the former East Anglian Daily Times premises, its message:


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osborne added 09:59 - Apr 28
Thanks for that Clivebleedingthomas. I was only six at the time, wasn't aware of the game, but, like every kid in the county, was soon aware of how our town had stunned the world of football. I think everyone in Suffolk felt incredibly proud, and Ipswich Town had truly written themselves into football history for ever. Those were the days!

bluebudgie added 10:12 - Apr 28
How lucky you were to have been there at Portman Rd that day to witness what is and always will be THE greatest achievement of any football club, from non-league to Champions of England in the space of 23 years! it's surprising a film has not been made of this rags to riches story.That's why I will always be proud to be a supporter of Ipswich Town and we have so much to thank Sir Alf Ramsey and the Cobbolds for.

Bluerunner added 10:23 - Apr 28
I was there that day in Churchmans. What blessed memories!

bluebudgie added 10:38 - Apr 28
I should have added to my posting that out of the 23 years Town had been in the Football League, football was suspended for 6 years due to WW2, , so in essence, Ipswich Town became Champions of England after just 17 full seasons, which makes Sir Alf's achievement all the more remarkable!

Lars added 11:18 - Apr 28
Dear Clive. Thank you for this great reenactment of events in 1962. I love these personal insights into when and how people became Ipswich fans. My own story.... In 1973, when I was nine and grew up in Denmark, I played with two friends on a Saturday. At that time there was a match from England on television every Saturday. My two friends sided with Arsenal. So I chose to side with the opponent - Ipswich. The match ended 1 - 1. This match created my interest in football and made the Ipswich fan I have been ever since. Most people and my friends thought - "Ipswich? Where did that come from?". But soon they would all understand that this was football at its best. On the day of the FA cup victory I would play football with my friends in the afternoon. I still remember this how they came forward to their fellow fourteen years old football friend and shook my hand. Today, it would be "Respect". I still think that this match is fantastic. It was not only that we won - but mainly the way we did so. In fall last year I stayed in Bury for two weeks for a work thing. On the first weekend when my colleagues went to Cambridge, London etc - I went to Ipswich. My first visit to a town that for decades had been my dream. The following weekend I went to see Ipswich - Norwich. In spite of the defeat, this was one of the greatest days of my life. It was great to be with thousands of people who think like I do. On the train from Bury I sat next to an elderly lady (75) and football and Ipswich made us friends. My two sons now wear Ipswich jerseys. As do I. I hope for a great future for the club. But irrespective of where we are and end up - will remain a loyal fan. It has worked well so far, it will in the future as well. Lars

ChrisFelix added 14:03 - Apr 28
So much is being said about 78, but the achievement of 62 I consider to be the most remarkable ever.
Strangely we won the league then because a Burnley threw it away.In 81 it was the other way round, we threw it away mainly because of the thinness of the squad

cfmoses added 18:21 - Apr 28
Thanks for reminding me of today 56 years ago. I was 11 and my Dad had made for my twin brother and I a wooden bench about 8 inches high so that we could stand on it at the bottom of Churchmans and just about watch the game over the concrete wall. Still have my little bench, I refuse to throw it out as It reminds me when I was a few feet away from seeing John Ellsworthys header hit the bar and Ray Crawford stooping to head the rebound past the Villa keeper. And I was right behind Rays second. I still have the full compliment of the little home programmes from that magic season. Four old pennies. Very fond memories.


TractorBeezer added 23:45 - May 2
Thanks for the memories Clive. I was standing in the North stand with my Dad and some pals. ..and then on the pitch afterwards. What an occasion. The most memorable game for me was away to Spurs in March 1962 when we defeated their star studded team who had won the double in 1961 3-1. Ted Phillips and Ray Crawford were incredible. I and a couple of pals slipped away from a Physics class when the master had his back turned while writing on the blackboard. We peddled to the station like mad men and the rest is history!

Crawfordsboot added 18:06 - Jun 11
Great memories.

I was a month short of my twelfth birthday at the time and my dad took me to the match. I still recall the headlines of "little Chelsea holding the mighty Burnley" !!!

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