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What Would Eric Gates Say?
Written by millvalleyblue on Sunday, 9th Dec 2018 09:13

I started supporting Ipswich when I was six. I’m 49 now and live in Mill Valley, just north of San Francisco. I grew up in Cork. People always ask: Ipswich? Why? The reason was my best friend, Christopher, supported Ipswich. I’ve no reason why he did. All the other kids supported Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal or Leeds.

Later Christopher said he was going to support Tottenham Hotspur. I said I would too. Later that day I went home and told my mum, “I’m going to support Spurs.”

She said, “Sit down”. She said, “You’re NOT leaving Ipswich. You’re not leaving your team. What would Eric Gates say? What would Bobby Robson say? What would Paul Mariner say? What would Paul Cooper say? No way. You are staying with your team."

So, I did. I had no choice really. When I tell this story I usually say, “I would have been much happier if I’d ignored my mum." But that's just to get laughs. I’m very happy I listened to her.

I know this: all of us are going to stay loyal to our team. No matter what happens. Whether Ipswich go down, stay up. No matter who the owner is. No matter who the manager is. We will stay loyal. As my mum would say, “What would Eric Gates say?”

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ElephantintheRoom added 10:12 - Dec 9
Eric Gates ran away twice if memory serves - and once big brother took Robson to task for ignoring his little brother's obvious talent. There's a more serious support crisis unfolding at Portman Road. The years of high prices and sterile football have made the club unsupportable to a generation or two of impressionable youngsters. I started taking my kids in an era when watching and playing Town was memorably decribed as like pushing custard uphill. They were unimpressed in an era when live Prem football was starting and a 120 mile round trip accompanied dull football that for them had no memories of Joe Broadfoot, Ray Crawford , Danny Hegan etc. let alone the Robson era to sustain them. None of them are now Town fans, I suspect that little family scenario is playing out and has played out in thousands of households. Those supporters have gone for good.

Ftnfwest added 20:39 - Dec 9
My mum kept me on the straight and narrow as well. I’d been a supporter since about 1973 when I was 7 and for the first few seasons we were fairly successful (ridiculously so compared to the last 30 years of course). The first season which wasn’t as good tested my young patience and half way through it I told my mum I was going to change to (bizarrely at the time) Man City. As a result I was given the biggest b*llocking in my life up to that point and told I should stand by my team and never give up on them. I told her I’d keep with it until the end of the season........we won the FA Cup. Lesson learned, but for now we desperately need a bit of relative success.

Northstandveteran added 07:23 - Dec 10
At the age of 7 I asked my dad,
"What football team should I support?"
He had no interest in football whatsoever.
" Ipswich is just up the road " he said.
I remember looking at the table in the early 80's, seeing us in second place in the old division one and thinking, "Thats the team for me"
Coming from Essex, there were lots of my friends that supported London clubs ( the majority of my family support orient ) but there were lots of Ipswich fans.
Nowadays the kids round here don't support Ipswich. Why would they? There isn't a town fan around these parts under the age of 40.
Still, I do enjoy family get togethers. It's the only time, in a room full of people, that I don't suppose the worst team 😂

Northstandveteran added 07:24 - Dec 10
Support! 😂

PJewellisaGod added 09:15 - Dec 10
Been going through this the last few years and in particular the last few months.

Three other younger members of my immediate family used to support Ipswich. They've all moved now and support Norwich. They have had enough of supporting a team that has only shown them what losing feels like. I'm the last man standing but I won't quit Ipswich.

norfolkbluey added 10:49 - Dec 10
I've been supporting ITFC since 1960 when one of my friends at school told me he was an ardent town supporter. We were 15 he played centre half and I played right back in the school team. I have never stopped supporting them even now having moved to west Norfolk. It has become really draining since moving up here seeing my club slowly dying. Three managers stick out in my memory, Robson and Royle and Burley. Royle was under funded at a crucial point and we didn't get promoted because he was unable to secure funds for a winger whose name escapes me. I just hope the current owner doesn't do the same to Lambert who I admire a great deal. This club has been under funded since the mistakes made by Burley after promotion. Remember Finidi George!? One of the best goals scored seen at Ipswich against Derby. I will stick with Ipswich despite their current situation. I was born in Ipswich and I would not consider supporting any other team. I admire other teams and enjoy watching them but supporting them, not a hope in hell.


Arthur_Hayes_tash added 15:43 - Dec 10
I grew up in Cornwall in the 70's and with no professional teams had to choose someone to support. Plymouth Argyle was obviously out of the question and Liverpool was too easy so I became an Ipswich Town supporter. This decision taken as a boy leaves me more than forty years later still supporting Town, albeit mostly from afar. My wife now sometimes gives helpful comments like 'why not support a better team' when I'm bemoaning another loss on a Saturday evening but your Mum was right you can't change - it matters (even though it shouldn't).

kozmik added 16:02 - Dec 10

Erics_size_5s added 21:02 - Dec 12
"Remember my goal against Sheffield Wednesday in 85"

Reecex28 added 21:36 - Dec 21
1967 aged 11 my Dad took me to my first match. Although a lifelong Gooner he decided to turn left when we left to Portman Rd rather than right to Highbury. Even though game was a horrible 0-0 draw against Preston ( manger Billy McGarry wanted to offer fans their money back ) I have never regretted his decision or considered, like almost all of my school mates becoming a plastic Manc or Spurs fan. Your team is for life not for Christams. If ever a conversation starts with 'I used to support ...." I walk away.
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