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The 'Tinpot' East Anglian Derby
Written by BradLloyd on Wednesday, 6th Feb 2019 08:23

Other fans from other clubs have referred to the East Anglian derby has tinpot but fans of Ipswich Town and Norwich City will tell you a very different story.

Mick McCarthy once said himself that he was shocked at the level of hatred between the two clubs when he first arrived at Portman road and told stories of old ladies approaching him and saying, “Make sure we beat the scum next week!”.

So, what is it that makes our derby different to any others? Geographical difference is the first thing that stands out. Ipswich and Norwich are stuck out the way and aren’t on route to any major city. They are surrounded by hundreds of small towns and villages and they are the only two big clubs for miles.

If you are born in Ipswich or its surrounding areas chances are you will live, work and probably die there, unless your smart enough to get a good education and a good job that takes you to another city (I suspect this is the same in Norwich).

This ensures the rivalry is passed on through generations, my family is a prime example of this. My grandad supported Ipswich Town and hated Norwich City, so did my dad, so did my older brother, so do I and so will my son when his old enough.

I consider myself to have had a pretty good upbringing when it comes to ethics and morals but I was brought up to hate Norwich. From as young as seven I was referring to them as 'the scum'. Rightfully or wrongfully this was encouraged in my house, again I suspect this is the same in Norwich.

When you look at other derbies like the Merseyside derby or the north London derby for example you can’t help but notice how close these clubs are, they even share the same city. Ipswich and Norwich by contrast is separated by 45 miles and this intensifies the rivalry.

Fans of Arsenal and Tottenham mingle on a regular basis. They went to school together, they work together and they grew up together they make relationships and even friendships.

I was 25 by the time I met and formed a relationship with a Norwich fan. I met him through work and to my surprise I thought he was alright! I’d even go as far to say as I liked him.

He was older than me and he could remember some of the great Ipswich teams of the past that had defeated the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona. He even admitted that Ipswich had a proud history and with that in mind we was the Pride of Anglia.

He did, however, have words of warning for me about the future as Ipswich had recently been in administration. All these years on and he was right.

We never really have recovered from administration and I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering where we might now be had parachute payments been more significant back then.

Ipswich are finally leaving the Championship but at the wrong end and after 17 years I’m not surprised. Norwich in that time have also gone down to League One, bounced back stronger, have been in the Premier League several times and are about to probably get promoted again.

I went to the home fixture at Portman Road earlier in the season and thought I was witnessing two mid-table teams, if anything we looked better but since then our paths have taken very different roads.

They are winning game after game, doing it in style and without spending loads of money. We on the other hand look like the worst Ipswich Town team I have ever seen and don’t really look much like scoring yet alone winning.

I’d like to think we can bounce back stronger like they did but the recent interview from Marcus Evans doesn’t fill me with optimism. far from it in fact.

Whatever happens on Sunday even if we win we are long way off Norwich at the moment but I guess we have to take comfort from the fact that they will never be as good as we once were.

Overall we have beat them more times than they have beaten us and we are still three major trophies ahead.
Form is temporary but class is permanent.

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Blueastheycome added 09:00 - Feb 6
There are Norwich and Ipswich fans that live in the land between and around Ipswich and Norwich you know. It was absolute carnage growing up in Lowestoft- a proper battleground mix of Norwich and ipswich although sadly it’s swing towards more Norwich these days.

TRUE_BLUE123 added 09:07 - Feb 6
Good post. However, you haven't changed my mine that it is a terrible Derby.

ElephantintheRoom added 09:29 - Feb 6
Maybe its geography but 20 odd miles north of Ipswich us Norwich and Town fans mingled on a day to day basis at school, work and in the pub with no problem - and still do. I don't recall 'scum' coming into the vocabulary until Town got an inferiority complex. Curious because Norwich's situation and ours, Town with dodgy offshore owners are far more scum-like than Norwich. Back in the day when the most intimidating chant was 'We all piss in a green and yellow bog, a green and yellow bog, a green and yellow bog...' there were some great derbies. No Norwich player had ever scored a hat trick in a derby, the programme crowed for a league cup tie at Portman Road. Hugh Curran scored a hat trick. Johnny Millar got two to knock us out again a few years later - and Norwich hadn't even paid for him. Then there was the league cup semi where D'Avray had his jaw broken by a stray elbow. Norwich won that one too. So they are well ahead on cup ties at least (Not that anyone cares about them any more) as well as bragging rights for most of the last 30 years

IpswichT62OldBoy added 09:45 - Feb 6
I grew up in Eye, no one supported Norwich.
Later lived in Diss where there were probably more Norwich fans, my local had a Norwich vs Ipswich fans pub sports day, no riot ensued.
This was 40 years ago

Ravanelly added 09:51 - Feb 6
I lived in Suffolk but went to school in Diss. The rivalry is intense in that area

RegencyBlue added 10:04 - Feb 6
I too am born and bred in Ipswich to a family of Town fans and even my mother, the most law abiding upright citizen you can imagine, instilled a hatred of Norwich in me. She still refers to them as “the scum” in her 90th year!

It is truly sad to see our decline over recent years in relation to Norwich but the difference between us and them now, which is genuinely painful for me to admit, is the difference between an owner who is a fan and has the best interests of her club at heart and what we have, a wide boy chancer who thought he saw an opportunity to make a few quid.

I don’t think, after Sunday, we will have to worry about ‘the Derby’ for a long time. I can’t see us getting out of the mess Evans has created any time soon and, whilst I agree they will never be as good as we once were, sadly, neither will we!

Slambo added 10:11 - Feb 6
Here's my opinion, which I know you're all desperate to hear:

1/ I think that the fact that there's a fair geographical distance between the two actually adds to the rivalry. Norwich seem quite other-wordly to me. Like Ipswich, they're supported mostly by people in the direct locale, so i just don't see or meet Norwich fans that often. I found it really surreal going to Liverpool and seeing people walking around
in Liverpool and Everton shirts;

2/ The local politics is also a big factor. Ipswich has always played second fiddle to Norwich in terms of prestige and stature - think of the cathedral, the BBC studios, the UEA (although I will vociferously defend Ipswich against its detractors. It's a much nicer place to live than everyone makes out). But the one area where were top dog, was of course football. Over the last decade, however, we've seen a shift in that relationship. It feels like Ipswich needs a successful football team a lot more than Norwich do...

Bluedandy added 10:12 - Feb 6
I have never heard a proper footie fan refer to the East Anglian derby as tinpot .... here's what ex-ref Keith Hackett said and presumably he had a better idea than most ... "there are certain derby fixtures that you always know are going to be highly charged, but the East Anglian derby tops the lot. The players came out of the tunnel as if they were ready for a boxing match. The noise was intense and aggressive."

Bluedandy added 10:16 - Feb 6
Re: Slambo .... but it's not just a derby between two towns .... it's two counties ... it's Suffolk v Norfolk .... and the former is a lot nicer than the latter .... and I'm a London-born Battersea boy who lives in Essex so clearly my view is entirely neutral

GerkensBeard added 10:26 - Feb 6
I understand your point about other rivalries go to school together and are friends but let me paint you this picture.
I am 24, from Halesworth which is equal distance between Ipswich and Norwich. I am Ipswich through and through as are my close family. Being the age I am I last saw us beat Norwich aged 14. That’s a long time to go through school/work and daily life where I work predominantly with Norwich fans having them take the piss.
Being from halesworth though I’m proud to say most in the town follow the team of their county. So come derby day the atmosphere in the pubs is mainly town fans but a few Norwich fans also present.
There’s something about Norwich fans. I swear they’re not like us. I can have a perfectly good conversation about football but can always tell what they really think. I think it mostly comes down to Norwich fans not being as intelligent football fans as ourselves. I swear the derby means more to them than life itself. Even as far as blokes at work wearing scarfs on their way in if they’ve won at the weekend against a different team and never seeing the scarf if they lose. The same applies in and around lowestoft where I live now. I’ve never seen so many Norwich shirts! I’m lucky to now be engaged and I can say her family also bleed blue. Her grandad is even an ex town reserve player from the early 60’s in Alf’s great team and the stories he tells.
So when I see a Norwich fan or anything associated with Norwich I can’t help but say “scum”
Like you say it was drilled in from into a young age of 5 as my parents say when we would go north of the border I would cry if I saw Norwich on a signpost.
This derby is by no means tinpot. And every time we play them I feel physically sick the whole 90 minutes. In our wildest dreams imagine this Sunday being 2-0 up with 5 to go. How we could all revel in it for once. Although the way they’re going we’d need to be 3 up with 10 to go.
I just feel some teams deserve success more than others. And since the age of 10 we’ve been pretty much on a downward curve. I feel it’s about time we deserved something to proud of. And with Lambert and the bigger picture I feel that is on the horizon.

ChrisFelix added 14:06 - Feb 6
In the 60/70/80s the rivalry was enjoyable, never malicious. I suppose Town were the top dogs.I recall standing at Carrow Road amongst city fans & enjoying good friendly banter
I even worked for the large insurers from Norwich & had several norwich in laws
I think the hate started with Sheepshank & Smith in charge.
This Sunday for what will our last derby for at least one season I'm inviting a city supporting neighbour over to watch the match with me

warksonwater added 14:07 - Feb 6
While our minds are on 'The Big One' on Sunday, can't help noticing in the Predictions that more people are foreseeing a 3-0 defeat or higher than all the other guesses put together. On one level, understandable. they're on great form, we're on lousy form. They're top, we're bottom. We haven't beaten them for ten years. Everything points to a walloping, right? Wrong. Firstly, the gap between top and bottom is a lot closer in the Championship than in the Premiership. So we're not talking Liverpool/Man.City against Huddersfield here. Secondly, local derbies can be great levellers, which introduces a dynamic which wouldn't be there between, say, Leeds and Reading. Thirdly, psychology: Norwich are 'expected' to win. They could well feel undue pressure as a result. Ironically, our low expectation could benefit us, along the lines of 'nothing to lose', thus removing that kind of pressure. Fourthly, unbeaten runs against teams are there to be broken. I.e. we've got to beat the b*ggers sometime! So, head on the chopping block. Against all odds, 2-1 Town. You read it here first.

ITFCsince73 added 18:03 - Feb 6
Looking forward to a great derby next season, ITFC v COL UTD


armchaircritic59 added 22:36 - Feb 6
ITFCsince73, i made a couple of friends laugh a month ago after we visited someone in hospital. We crossed the road and there was a milestone which read Ipswich 9

So i had to quip, that's next seasons derby result then! Though it's looking like Colchester have got a touch of the "Yips" of late. Rather unlike us, who have had it all season so far!

On the little spat coming up Sunday. I was never brought up to hate Norwich. I started going to games in 1962 (after the Div1 title :-( ), with my parents in the old wooden East Stand, and never heard a bad word about our feathered friends . Of course, we love to put it over over our rivals, but i hate all the hype about the "derby" (in fact i hate hype about anything!) and am personally glad when it's all over. If we start getting double points for a derby win i might get a little more excited!


ronnyd added 00:30 - Feb 7
RegencyBlue, my Mum is 99 and Scum have always been, well, Scum.

chripswich added 17:42 - Feb 7
Been on here for years so nobody tell me I dont bleed blue...but I'm also a realist.

All you need to know about Ipswich and Norwich can be learnt by taking ten steps outside their train stations

In one you emerge into a vibrant atmosphere which helps to give a spring in your step...

In the other you take a look around and think "oh my god what a total dosshouse..." where ironically the only sense of any real kind of 'community' is our stadium in the distance..

Our town is like our team. Gone to hell in a handcart..

Sad but true nonetheless...

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