Can you believe it’s 40 years since Ipswich Town FC’s UEFA Cup triumph? A cup run that saw them having to beat no less than three champions-elect to lift the trophy in Amsterdam’s Olympic stadium.
In this, the definitive account (to date!) of Town’s European games, the Houseleys take you through the seasons. From Alf Ramsey’s Champions playing in the European Cup, through the Bobby Robson era and the UEFA Cup triumph in Amsterdam, to the George Burley Premiership team, and the ‘bonus’ season in Europe ending under Joe Royle. Every tie is summarised and most are well illustrated, with photos of action on the pitch, memorabilia, and the fans on location.
As the club’s appointed travel agents, the Houseley brothers were handed a huge responsibility. There had to be smooth organisation, and seeing off any trouble at a time of widespread football hooliganism. The Ipswich fans, however, were a credit to club and country and took their good behaviour and good humour as a badge of honour. That was something greatly appreciated by the club’s directors, manager Sir Bobby Robson and the players.
The memories these trips produced for you the Ipswich Town fans (the brothers also fans) are priceless. Ships, planes, trains and coaches were chartered as thousands made the journeys to some of the finest cities in Europe, to see their team come up against many of Europe’s most famous names.
Coach and manager Bobby Ferguson wrote the Foreword and then his assessment of the players of 1980-81 team. There are accounts from fans, stewards and club officials, journalists, and the brothers themselves.
The Travel Card scheme for fans devised by David and Philip was ahead of its time. It was taken up by other clubs, Denis Howell’s working party appointed by the prime minister, and finally by the FA as the England Travel Club.
About the Authors
David Houseley was Managing Director of Anglia Tours and Felixstowe Travel, who together with co-director brother Philip were official travel agents for Ipswich Town FC. He wrote a series of travel books and chaired several local groups in Felixstowe, including sports and community organisations. Philip Houseley chaired the official Ipswich Town FC Supporters Club for 15 years. He also commented on matches for local radio and operated the scoreboard at Portman Road. Now living in Riga, Latvia, Philip is a feature writer for the local English language newspaper and magazine.