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Written by LegendRay on Sunday, 19th Sep 2021 15:12

How many others on the site remember April 15 1961, the day, as TWTD recalls, when Town last beat Lincoln away in the league?

I wasn’t there that afternoon, but I was with the team at Ipswich station that evening.

The 4-1 victory had made it virtually certain that we’d be going up for the first time ever to the top division; a throng of fans, including me and my brother, were at the station to greet the team (before some of them made the short walk to collect their bikes at the ground and cycle home!).

A week later we beat Sunderland 4-0 at Portman Road to make certain and I joined others running onto the pitch (as I was to do again on April 28 1962).

Today’s relief and celebration of a 1-0 win in ‘division three’ shows how far round the football cycle the last 60 years have taken us.
Hopefully the punctured balloon of August’s hopes will be inflated again by October, but the early part of the season left questions dangling:

- Why was there no new manager bounce last season or this?
- How much of past success was due to the assistant manager?
- Can the manager manage the 'storming' in the dressing room if results don’t come: an avalanche of recruits trying to form working relationships, finding out about different salary deals, competing for promised places in the team (not to mention houses in the town!), old scores to settle from previous clubs. As TWTD blogger Jaime Clapham recently wrote, there’s a lot of storming and norming before performing!

Perhaps the most relieved person at Sincil Bank was Mark Ashton, out there on the pitch rightly applauding the loyal supporters. The post-match conference screen meeting with the US owners just got easier. The dreaded ‘vote of confidence press release’ could be put back in the desk drawer!

A run of results, and a top-six position by start November will rescue the CEO, and the owners, from an unenviable Catch-22 situation – or in Town’s case ‘Catch-19’ reflecting the imports of the transfer window.

Without better results, the dilemma famed in Joseph Heller’s novel could be mirrored in any thoughts on the manager’s future.
After all, most of the 19 have given Cook’s leadership as a key reason to join: ‘played for him before’, ‘love his enthusiasm’, ‘he sold me on the project’ etc.

If he was to go, how many of them would maintain the motivation? Or would a new manager demand a wholesale change all over again? Oh no, not again!

And on the other hand, there’s no one left to blame for failure. The squad are Cook’s choices, Ashton has worked hard to buy the assets, the owners have been vocal in backing all appointments (but quieter since September).

‘Catch-19’ says to me that there’s no way anyone would think of changing the manager before Christmas. If the top six isn’t attained by start November, the fireworks may start about possible director of football or assistant manager, which will buy all parties more time.

Of course we all know what will take such pessimistic thoughts off the Christmas table and give us fans seasons’ greetings. The Cobbolds and Alf Ramsey knew that answer in April 1961, and look what happened next. Let’s hope the diamond anniversary marks an upswing in the cycle.

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therein61 added 18:38 - Sep 19
Although only 10 at the time i remember the score and it's importance from my grandfather
who was an avid blue who as a barber in Lowestoft cut the hair of a couple of the players of which he was proud to extol to the customers who were die hard canaries(god help them if they went in for a cut throat shave!!) and he remained so until his death in 1975, on his bedside cabinet remained a signed program v Aston Villa on the day we won the championship of which is still in the family, he was a wonderful man who loved a wonderful club i only wish that he was still alive to witness 78/81 it would have made his last days complete. R.IP. Edward Atkins.

therein61 added 18:40 - Sep 19
Sorry catch-19 meant to thank you for your article, but it brought back so many memories my old head was in a tiss.

Merthyrblue added 23:12 - Sep 19
I remember my father telling me he went to that match. Bus trip I think.

Europablue added 13:42 - Sep 22
As a football fan, I choose blind optimism and can only assume that we will win every game from here on out!

ElephantintheRoom added 14:11 - Sep 22
It's more like Catch 39 is it not if you include the players wisely and unwisely sidelined or shown the revolv ing door marked exit? I get your point on the 19 strangers being Cook enthusiasts - but a modicum of Ipswich Town playing for Ipswich Town might be nice. A shedload of mercenaries joining the off-field freeloaders in the haste to consume borrowed money is all very well - but a tad tasteless - and a bit un-what Ipswich used to be. I agree that sacking the useless Cook would be pretty disastrous as a new gravy train rider would come in, almost certainly ex-Bristol City - and need their own backroom staff and players - managing being an alien concept for a manager nowadays. Luckily I live in a different country now and the shenanigans at Ipswich Town are of curiousity value. I can understand young(ish) supporters being enthused by the franchise and pretend ownership - but it seems a tad odd that someone who remembers the Cobbolds, 60's and Ipswich representing Ipswich, rather than an Ohio profit opportunity finding it aything other than vaguely distasteful.

monty_radio added 22:24 - Sep 23
I was there for the Sunderland game and must have been with you out on the pitch. I've often thought since that though I enjoyed it all, only as an adult could you really evaluate what Alf and the Cobbolds achieved.

With Bobby I realised, even at the time, that such dominance couldn't last forever. 10 years was a good stretch though.

rfretwell added 22:28 - Sep 23
Nice post therein61. Way back then the post match ritual was a rush to the station to get the players autographs - Towns and our opponents. The 7-0 massacre of Southampton at PR is a special memory - I've still got the autographs of Terry Paine (England international winger) and his teammates now.

TractorBeezer added 17:05 - Oct 25
I was blessed to be at the 1961 Lincoln away game. Our neighbours were kind enough to invite me. The next season was even better including the double against Spurs and the final game v Aston Villa. Yes those were the days....but things do change.
Living in Canada I am actually enjoying this season and am delighted to see the support that we are getting.

oldburian added 14:28 - Nov 8
I was there that day as a 16(just) year old grammar school boy. One down at half time, the second half was just brilliant. Lincoln were relegated that year and, as as far as I can remember, have never been back to that level.
Their manager at the time was Bill (?) Anderson who made his name wheeling and dealing including selling and buying Andy Graver three times, each time for a profit!
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