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Ipswich

Ground: Portman Road

Visits: 1

Date: 21st April 2011

Match: Ipswich - Norwich  1-5  (League Championship)

Attendance: 29 258

 

The biggest match on this trip was the East Anglia derby between Ipswich and Norwich. I thought it would be difficult to get hold of a ticket for what is Ipswich's biggest match. To my surprise I had no troubles whatsoever buying a ticket when they went on General Sale though. My journey to Ipswich started at 14.30 when I boarded the East Anglia National Express from Liverpool Street station. 70 minutes later (no delays!) I arrived in Ipswich, the biggest town in Suffolk. As usual I walked straight to the ground to take some exterior pictures. Portman Road nowdays has a capacity of around 30 000 and over the years some of England's most legendary managers have been working here. Alf Ramsey was manager of England's Wolrd Cup winning team in 1966. Between 1955 and 1963 he was manager of Ipswich town, the highlight of course 1962 when Ipswich became champions of England. Bobby Robson was here as well and the higlight of his reign was the 1981 UEFA Cup victory. There are statues of both these legends outside the ground.

 

There were other groundhoppers in Ipswich as well. I met up with Hans, Joost and Hugo at the Mannings Bar before the game. We had some good discussions about football over a few drinks before heading to the ground around 7pm. My seat was in the Britannia Stand, opposite the visiting Norwich fans and I was surrounded by (mostly elderly) season ticket holders. The man to my right had seen football at Portman Road for more than 60 years. I guess he counts as a proper Ipswich fan. When kick-off approached the atmosphere inside Portman Road was just as good as I had hoped and expected. There was a massive buzz inside the ground and to experience an atmosphere like this is why I like going to England. With the visitors from Norfolk scoring early on, and leading 2-0 by half-time, the home fans were silenced though. The singing from the away section was however louder and louder. In the end Norwich won by 5-1. As a neutral it was a great experience to attend a derby like this and to hear non-stop singing from more than 2 000 away supporters is something you can never stop enjoying. I said good-bye to my seat neighbour and once back at Ipswich train station I met up with some other Swedish fans. Stefan, who I met at Stevenage last year, and his friend travelled from Umeå in northern Sweden this Thursday and only arrived in Ipswich shortly before kick-off. We found each other on the platform and yet again a discussion about football took place. We arrived back in London on time and by midnight I was back at my hotel. A memorable day came to an end.

 

ipswich town hall

Ipswich Town Hall

 

cobbold stand, rear

Rear of the Cobbold Stand

 

alf ramsey, staty  bobby robson, staty

Statue of Alf Ramsey                               Statue of Bobby Robson

 

ipswich town fc

Ipswich Town FC

 

portman road

Portman Road

 

fans outside

Fans outside the ground

 

bobby robson stand

Sir Bobby Robson Stand

 

cobbold stand

Cobbold Stand

 

south stand

South Stand

 

bobby robson stand2

Sir Bobby Robson Stand

 

spelbild

View of play

 

avspark

Kick-off

 

cobbold stand2

Cobbold Stand

 

norwichfans3

Norwich fans

 

inmarsch

Teams entering the pitch

 

south stand2

South Stand

 

pano, portman road

Pano

 

pano, portman road3

Pano