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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