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Signing Sessions With Legend Crawford Launch New Town Book
Signing Sessions With Legend Crawford Launch New Town Book
Saturday, 21st Nov 2015 12:20

Author Dave Ablitt and legendary Blues striker Ray Crawford, who has written the foreword, are launching a new book Howda Towan Git On? by taking part in signing sessions at the weekend.

Howda Towan Git On? will be on sale at the Evening With Ray Crawford event at Portman Road on Friday, then the following day Town’s record goalscorer and Ablitt will hold signing sessions ahead of the Blues’ game against Wolves in Planet Blue from 12.30pm to 1.30pm and afterwards in the Legends Bar between 5.00pm and 6.00pm.

The duo will also be appearing on Saturday’s Life’s a Pitch on BBC Radio Suffolk (noon-2pm).

The book costs £10 with net proceeds from the sales on those two days going to the to Town Academy. You can buy unsigned copies of the book from publishers Imagine here.

Ablitt, 62, told TWTD what inspired him to write Howda Towan Git On? and how it came to be published.

The book is semi-autobiographical, about how I became an Ipswich fan at a very young age and how ITFC totally dominated my life up until I left school and had to take on some responsibility.

There is lots of information about the ups and down of 'the Towan' from winning the Second Division championship in 1961 right up until they won it again in 1968.

It took me seven years to write and I finished it in November last year. I didn’t even consider the possibility of having it published, I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would be anywhere near good enough.

I was invited to a school reunion last November but unfortunately was unable to attend.  My old English teacher from Thurleston Sec Mod was attending so tongue in cheek I sent him a copy of the manuscript and asked him to mark it for me.

I knew he would contact me and I expected a metaphoric pat me on the head and advice not to give up my day job.  But he called me a couple of days later and his reaction overwhelmed me.  He insisted that I get it published and was gushing in his praise! He asked me to send a copy to a friend of his in Durham, which I did.

This guy then called me and was also insisting that I get it published and asked if he could pass it on to a friend of his who although lived in Durham happened to be an Ipswich supporter.

I sent it to this guy who in turn called me and again insisted that I get it published. All three of the people who read it were extremely complimentary and made me think that maybe publishing was a possibility.

By chance I went to the birthday party of a good friend’s wife in Tavistock at the end of January.  He mentioned in conversation that he had just bought into a publishing company which gave me the opportunity of exploring the possibility of publishing. When he read it he loved it and insisted on publishing it at his own expense and taking a small profit from the net proceeds.

We decided that to give it credibility and to make it more saleable we should get a well know footballer to write the foreword.  As Ray Crawford features heavily in it, I thought he would be the ideal person.

Through Simon Milton at ITFC I was introduced to Ray, and the publisher and I went down to meet him at his home in Portsmouth and took him to lunch.

Ray, who is a fantastic guy, loved the book and was very keen to write the foreword and offer whatever help he could.  Hence the book signings.

Personally, I cannot believe what has happened so far. I never thought it could possibly get to this stage and as I had no expectations when I started writing it, I do not want to make anything out of it.

I have promised Milts £2 to the Academy for every copy sold that weekend, I have promised Ray a donation to his charity in Portsmouth and I really hope to sell enough to make a decent donation to the St Elizabeth Hospice who my family could not have done without when my father died in there 24 years ago.

Just briefly back to the book itself, the proofreader in Plymouth, where it was published and printed, and who has no interest in football whatsoever, told the publisher that she loved reading it and she now understood why people supported a football team even though they might not be top of the Premier League! That statement justified my writing it, I think.

Photo: Action Images

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TractorBeezer added 22:50 - Nov 17
I was blessed to be around in that period and saw many of the games (including 1960 to 1962) before leaving for Canada in 1967.
The order form only refers to domestic delivery.Phil, do you know if they can mail the book to Canada?

floridablue added 23:08 - Nov 17
same question for me, although i didn't cross the pond till many years later!
i know of dave the author and have friends and family back there but did wonder if they offered shipping to the united states?

PhilTWTD added 09:53 - Nov 18
I've asked Dave. One of us will get back to you here.

hancockingoal added 10:44 - Nov 18
I will speak to the publisher this morning, I am sure we can sort something out? I will repost soonest. Dave

hancockingoal added 10:52 - Nov 18
Floridablue - is that Don Wilson? How are you mate? I will sort something out for you

ottawafan added 11:35 - Nov 18
Also in Canada - I live in England from 67 to 72 and fell in love with ITFC. I don't remember why and I don't really care anymore. Although a little before my time I would love to get a hold of a copy.
Frank in Ottawa

floridablue added 13:14 - Nov 18
how did you guess dave ! save me a signed ray copy and i'll try and arrange for my sis to pay and pick up. looking forward to the read. p.m. if need be.

hancockingoal added 14:15 - Nov 18
How are you keeping Don? Hope life is treating you good? My email address is dave@imorex.co.uk Anybody from overseas who wants to buy a copy, please email. I am checking on postage costs and payment can be made vai PayPal

TractorBeezer added 16:35 - Nov 18
Thanks Phil and Dave for your responses.

Dave I'll send you an e-mail.

hancockingoal added 17:38 - Nov 18
The total cost per book to send to USA and Canada will be Pounds Sterling 24.00
Payment can be by PayPal to my email dave@imorex.co.uk
Please send any orders to that address
Many thanks/Dave

Warkys_Tash added 22:08 - Nov 18
A really nice story attached to the writing of this book & publishing it.

I agree Ray Crawford is a smashing gentlemen & a true legend of ITFC & still our record goalscorer with 215 goals. Every ITFC fan should treasure Ray whilst we have the honour of him still visiting Portman Road - The team of the 61 & 62 championship winning seasons are getting sadly less & less.

Good luck Dave, some very worthy causes, hope you sell many copies.

hancockingoal added 23:03 - Nov 18
Many thanks Warkys Tash, I appreciate your comment! Dave

floridablue added 00:24 - Nov 19
Dave, just sent you an email, so please save a signed book for me, Ray was one of my all time Town heroes, certainly remember attending at least one game with family in that Championship season !
ooh ooh jungle boy!


rfretwell added 19:31 - Nov 22
On seeing the title in an earlier TWTD piece i was thinking "I'll give this one a miss"; I then emailed a fellow Town fan in Pennsylvania and he thought the same. But now I have seen this I think we need to get hold of copies! Vast crowds on the Cornhill to see Andy Nelson and the team hold the First Division trophy aloft. My dad took me as an 8 yr old. Of course I didn't appreciate the sheer magnitude of that achievement - I certainly do now! Crawford and Philips - forever legends of English football.

Seasider added 15:36 - Nov 23
Went to An Evening with Ray in the Sir Bobby Robson suite,well worth the £30 including meal.
Many anicdotes about him, his friend Ted Phillips,whos wife was there; and of course Mr John;what characters.

Ray comes over as a thoroughly nice chap and the evening just flew past.Didn't get home til 11.15pm.Reminded me a bit of Ken Dodds shows as Ray seemed to be quite happy to go on and if it wasn't for Simon Milton would have been much later.

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