With Town legend Paul Mariner returning with Plymouth Argyle this evening, we thought it was time to reminisce about the striker's greatest days with the Blues.
What are your favourite memories of his time here? Which were his greatest goals? His finest games? Add yours to the Comments section below.
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I remember as a lad in the North Stand, Town had a corner, Mariner indicated to the baying crowd where he was going to head it & did just that! What a legend, can't for the life of me remember the opposition though....
Being a danish boy with a great admiration for the intensity in english football I fancied the young Town-side and remember my older sisters boyfriend telling me, that the Blues had bought a talented striker from Plymouth (first time I ever heard of Plymouth) - I followed the games on BBC-radio when Mariner made his debut at Old Trafford (Town winning 1-0) and scored in his home-debut - a 7-0 bashing of WBA. Those were the days! Although Whymark scored four (I think) my admiration went to the newcomer and my dreams of great days to come emerged for the first time.
I dont actually have any memories of Mariner as im too young to have seen him play for town, but my Dad always goes on about how good a finisher in the box he was and from watching old town games i agree. I have maximum respect for any ex-player who played a part in the clubs greatest achievements, he'll get a rousing reception im sure, but unfortunately leave tonight with nothing, 3-0 win for the blues tonight!!
Strangely I remember a game he didn't play. He was injured and Mich D'Avray came in for the home game against Southampton. I remember thinking that we were in for a bad time, with no Mariner, and Keegan & Channon on the opposing side. However, Alan Brazil scored 5 that night, most of them assists from D'Avray. Who needs Mariner? Only joking - what a star, he had everything - 2 good feet, great header of the ball, and strong as an ox
As a kid my dad used to take me to Portman Road a lot, but the best time to go was UEFA night against unheard of teams like Widzew Łódź, Bohemians Praha and of course Barcelona. Mariner was the dandy boy with the long flowing hair who lead the line brilliantly and scored terrific goals. Loved the crowd too, a real entertainer.
He is my all time favourite player. I always have Mariner and 9 on the back of my shirt. He was my first favourite player wheni first joined the Junior Blues back in the late 70's. I have 2 signed pic from that. He would be worth a fortune if he was playing now. Up there with the very best. I remember his hat-trick against Man utd when we beat them 6-0. Also his goal in the Uefa Cup Final at home to AZ. He is a legend. I wish i could be there tonight but cannot. I hope he gets the reception he deserves.
Lots of memories but standing in Churchmans when he made his debut, went on a short run and scored a curler from the edge of the box I will always remember. Welcome back tonight Paul but sorry we can't do you any favours.
Erictheblue, I can remember that match against WBA where Town won 7-0 on the 06/11/1976 as it was my first trip to PR standing on a milk crate to try and see the game. Can't recall who scored but remember it set me up as a Town fan for life. PM was my schoolboy football hero and one of my favourite all time Town players. Wish we had one of his kind now!
The unbelievable headed goal at the churchmans end against our mighty foes Liverpool to win 1- 0. Along with K Beattie, the best header of the ball to grace Portman road in the 40 years I have been watching Ipswich.
He was bought to replace another crowd pleaser and all-time top bloke, David Johnson (the first and by far the best) so had big boots to fill. and how he did.
Was made club captain by, i think Bobby Ferguson, when most of the 'Boys of 81' had left. and what an inspirational captain he was, wjith a tremendous relationship with the fans.
He was also the player opposing fans would vilify the most with abusive chants, probably a sign of his quality, but probably more to do with his glorious mane, which has rendered. many a grown man insanely jealous.
Would love to have been there to have given PM the reception he deserves, maybe he will be sent a link to this to see how fondly he is remembered. i suspect he may come back and manage us one day...
The Mariner goal that really stands out for me was the header in front of Churchmans in the 1-0 win over Liverpool when they were top and we were either 2nd or 3rd in the league.Wel over 30,000 at Portman Road that day.
The header against Liverpool was the first game I went to at the age of 6 - and it made me a Town fan for life. Mariner is the best header of the ball I've ever seen - it wasn't just that he scored so many great headers - he could pass and cushion the ball with his head better than most players can manage with their feet. I remember for a bit of showmanship he once knelt down and headed the ball back along the ground to the goalkeeper instead of kicking it. Pure class.
Highlights for me were Man Utd hatrick,the 2 goals at Orient in the FA Cup replay plus his missed penalty v Soton, which I almost caught at the top of Churchmans! Remember giving him some stick at Highbury afterv her became a Gooner..."You're just a greedy c**t, Mariner, Mariner". Top man.
The magnificent header against the mighty Liverpool that others have mentioned - magic! Mariner was more than just an old fashioned centre forward. He had a good level of skill, brought players into the game and also worked hard. If we had someone half as good now I would be ecstatic. Welcome back Paul but you leave with no points - I hope!
So many great memories of Mariner at PR, too many too mention. My personal hero , and in '81 i actually met him in Tesco in Colchester, I couldnt even talk properly as my mouth was dry and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, it was like meeting God! Still got the autograph that i finally managed to ask for on the back of my mums shopping list, framed and on the bedroom wall! Now for you younger fans who never had the good fortune to seem him light up the pitch...he was a true Town legend.