Legendary Striker Phillips Dies
Tuesday, 9th Jan 2018 11:03
Legendary Blues striker Ted Phillips has died at the age of 84.
Gromford-born Phillips joined the club in 1953 and was a member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s sides which won the 1961/62 First Division championship at the first attempt, having carried off the Second Division title the previous season and prior to that the Third Division (South).
He famously forged a brilliant partnership with Ray Crawford following his recruitment from Portsmouth in 1958, Phillips netting 33 (28 in the league) during the Division One championship campaign to his team-mate’s 36 (33 in the league).
Famed for having the most powerful shot in football, Phillips scored 46 goals in all competitions in the 1956/57 season, still a club record.
Overall, he netted 181 goals - the third-highest scorer in the club's history - in 295 appearances before moving on to Luton in 1964, then later Leyton Orient and Colchester prior to a spell in charge of Maltese club Floriana Valetta, who he had scored four goals against in Town’s aggregate 14-1 European Cup victory in 1962, two in each leg.
Phillips, who continued to visit Portman Road in his latter years (pictured above at an open day in 2013 on the day before his 80th birthday), was also a talented fast bowler and represented Suffolk.
He worked for Pirelli Cables prior to his retirement and had just moved to a nursing home in Ipswich from Colchester at the time of his death having suffered from dementia in his final four years.
Strike partner Crawford, 81, who remained a close friend after their playing days, was among the first to pay tribute.
"Ted had this ferocious shot and I got a lot of my goals because the goalkeepers couldn't hold them and could only parry them, and I just used to mop up," he told BBC Suffolk.
"He was ferocious off the field as well and wasn't a man to put up with any nonsense. We were big pals right up until he had this dementia.
"He'd just moved into a home and I had hoped to pop in and see him next time I was up."
Doug Moran, another member of the championship-winning side, told the club site: “I came down from Scotland and things were pretty normal up there but when I met Ted he was different to anyone I had ever met before. What a character. He loved a laugh and was one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet.”
Current Blues manager Mick McCarthy added: “I’ve been told of his goalscoring record at the club and it’s clear that he is player that stamped his mark on the history of Ipswich Town.
"Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends at this sad time.”
Ahead of Saturday's home game against Leeds United there will be a minute's applause, while the players will wear black armbands.
An interview with Phillips from 2012 talking about his time at Portman Road can be found here.
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