|A Scarf of Blue and White Bars|
Written by SpiritOfJohn on Saturday, 20th Nov 2021 11:30
Things were different in the 1970s. Glam Rock and Chopper bikes were cool, there were strikes and power cuts and only three channels on the television.
The nearest things we had to social media were <i>Points of View</i> and the letters section of the newspaper. After school we would play football in the street until we got called in for tea.
Life seemed much simpler then. For a couple of years I was vaguely aware that my dad took my older brother to watch football on Saturday afternoons and, older brothers being what they are, I must have heard many fantastic stories about how amazing it was to go and watch the star players of Ipswich Town.
When I was finally big enough to join the fun I was presented with a blue and white bar scarf (these were the days before the team name was included in the scarf pattern) and off we went. We parked some distance away from the stadium and walked for what seemed like hours to reach our destination.
When we arrived at the ground there weren't many people about - there were still two hours until kick-off. We had to get there early because there was limited space at the wall behind the goal and that was the only place where I could get a view of the action that wouldn't be obstructed by other fans.
Dad had carried a small footstool from the car into the North Stand and when he placed it by the wall I could just about see over the barrier. The view of the pitch at this height was limited in terms of perspective, but when there was a corner the players all looked like giants.
I had a navy blue shirt with long sleeves that had white cuffs and a white collar (no club badge) that I played football in (pretending to be Trevor Whymark), but I don't remember any people wearing replica shirts at football matches.
Back in the 70s everyone who had team colours wore a scarf, and it wasn't uncommon for people to wear two or three at once! There were a number of songs that required scarves - one popular action was twirling the scarf above the head - often accompanied by the lyrics "We're gonna win the cup! We're gonna win the cup! Eee-aye-adio! We're gonna win the cup!"
The most impressive and therefore most popular action requiring a scarf was to hold it outstretched above the head, thus obscuring the view of the person standing behind, so was best performed when there was a break in play.
There were three Ipswich songs that accompanied this display: "And it's Ipswich Town, Ipswich Town FC, We're the finest football team the world has ever seen!", <i>You'll Never Walk Alone</i> (not just a Liverpool song - listen to the 1978 FA Cup final just before the final whistle!) and my personal favourite which was simply "Ipswich, Ipswich, Ipswich, Ipswich" to the tune of Amazing Grace.
I have a memory of hearing the "Ipswich, Ipswich" song in full voice before the start of the first FA Cup semi-final against West Ham United at Villa Park in 1975, where the display of scarves and banners was truly awesome.
I always thought it would be good to have more words to the "Ipswich, Ipswich" song so thought I would have a go (better late than never):
<b>A Scarf of Blue and White Bars</b>
When first I went to Portman Road
Dad gave me a scarf of blue and white bars
Ipswich, Ipswich you are my team
We stood through wind and rain and
We beat the best that England had
Ipswich, Ipswich you are my team
And now I take my girl to watch
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Blogs by SpiritOfJohn
Blogs 286 bloggers
A Curious Hat-Trick by JC62
I’ll straight away advise you that the following might not be what you’re used to reading on an Ipswich Town website. I have to confess that I’m a lifelong Fulham fan and my usual scribblings are carried on the Fulham Focus website. However I achieved a curious hat-trick by attending Saturday’s game and thought my own little trip down memory lane might be of interest.
The Swinging Sixty by ElephantintheRoom
Sixty years ago this year Town won the top division, so if you look upon your relationship with Ipswich Town as some sort of marriage this year marks the diamond jubilee of that remarkable achievement.
Five Reasons to Be Optimistic and Five Reasons to Remain Cautious by adamisablue2
Just after Conor Chaplin crashed home his penalty and Town's fourth against Gillingham on Saturday, I turned to my friends in the stand and uttered the [probably] famous last words of “the road to Wembley starts here boys!”
Big Club, Little Club by ElephantintheRoom
When I first started regularly going to Portman Road, Town had recently won the league as ‘upstart country cousins’.
Moans About Loans by ElephantintheRoom
Christmas came early for Town supporters with the surprising appointment of a manager who may actually have a future in the game.