The Anonymous Widower

Football In The Fog

Surprisingly, the strongest team on the pitch; the fog, didn’t win this game.

The guy next to me was a teacher, whose duties included taking games, Never having been any good at ball games, I wouldn’t know, but he felt it was very difficult out there.

Strangely, Ipswich seemed to improve, when they substituted the blonde-harired Williams and two other lighter-skinned players, with three of a much darker hue in Bru, McGoldrick and Ward.

Perhaps, they were more difficult to pick out. After all, McGoldrick used his head to create one goal and score the other.

December 17, 2016 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

Widowhood Is A Lonely Dark Club

And a dark club, that no-one asked if you wanted to join.

After forty years of a generally happy and vibrant relation, especially when it came like a thunderbolt from nowhere, makes it no easier.

It is lonely, but I do have the freedom to do what I want.

I could just throw my clothes on the floor each night and live on beer and baked beans. Which I don’t!

Today, I’m off to see Ipswich lose at Sheffield Wedneswday.

I’m then off tomorrow for four days in the Canaries! Nothing to do with Norfolk!

But both trips will be alone!

Surely, there must be widow, out there who feels like I do!

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Daryl Murphy To Newcastle

Daryl Murphy is leaving Ipswich to go to Newcastle United.

It is reported in this article on the BBC. This is said.

“It’s a really good move for him in his career, at his age, and it’s good for us,” McCarthy told BBC Radio Suffolk.

I agree.

Daryl is thirty-three and I’ve met him a couple of times and found him to be an intelligent man, who is a good talker at a meeting.

He must be seeing the end of his career and going to Newcastle is a simple way to get a pension pot.

Town also get some money in and given the new rules about loan players, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mick does another deal on the lines of Grant Ward from Tottenham at a reported £600,000, according to this article in the EADT. Someone said about that deal yesterday, that Ward came to Ipswich because he had worked with Bryan Klug, when he was at Tottenham.

Perhaps, a case it’s not what you know, but who you know!

Incidentally, living in North London, quite a few Tottenham fans have told me, that they sold the wrong player.

In some ways though, if Ward continues to contribute goals from midfield, Murphy won’t be missed so much.

When did Ipswich last have four quality midfield players in Bishop, Bru, Dozzell and Ward with a combined age of just eighty-five?

One of the rumours going around yesterday, was that McCarthy will be signing Adam Armstrong.

I don’t think he’ll be bought, as he’s just signed a new deal at Newcastle. But there is an interesting link between Ipswich and Armstrong. His father; Alun, played for Town for three years, leaving in 2004.

Could we be seeing a case of the son following his father?

Although, I suspect the son, could be a similar player to his father and quite different to Murphy.

But does Ipswich need a similar target man to replace Murphy? Perhaps, one on the subs bench, like Leon Best. Intriguingly, Ward and Best both played for Rotherham United last season.

As I said, it’s all about who you know!

I suspect that, if he thinks it is a possible deal for Armstrong, McCarthy will be using all his Yorkshire strength and Irish charm to bring it about.

We’ll know what is happening, when all is revealed late on Tuesday.

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Sport | | Leave a comment

The Future At Shenfield Station

There is an article on Rail Technology Magazine, which describes how Network Rail completed £14.5 million preparations for Crossrail over the bank holiday.

This is one of the comments by Andrew Gault, which describes the operation of Shenfield station after Crossrail opens.

Plus the new new bay platform (Platform 6) at Shenfield is soon to be built and once the new Platform 6 at Shenfield is built and opened then Crossrail Elizabeth Line trains will use Platforms 5 and 6 as a terminus with Platform 4 being used for Abellio Greater Anglia’s Southend Victoria trains to stop on Platform 4 freeing up Platform 3 for Semi-Fast trains and Stopping Commuter trains to Ipswich, Braintree, Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea and Intercity trains passing through Shenfield towards Norwich and Ipswich and yes Shenfield will see more passengers using Crossrail Elizabeth Line once the full service is in operation in late 2019/early 2020 and same with Abbey Wood, Reading, Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport.

Is Mr. Gault indicating that some or all fast Ipswich and Norwich trains will stop at Shenfield?

If he is correct, then it will certainly make getting to Portman Road for Tuesday Night matches a lot easier for me.

May 8, 2016 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , | 1 Comment

Ipswich Town’s title win in 1962 is a bigger underdog tale than Leicester City winning the Premier League

Who said that?

Ray Crawford, who scored thirty-three goals in Ipswich’s title win in 1962, did in this article in the East Anglian Daily Times. Crawford says this.

Town had been in Division Three South when England’s future World Cup-winning manager Sir Alf Ramsey took charge in 1955. There was promotion in ‘57, they were Division Two title winners in ‘61 and top-flight 
champions the following year. Five players were there throughout the journey.

“Leicester’s is an unbelievable story because it’s come in an era which, sadly, is dominated by money,” said Crawford. “I still think ours was a bigger achievement then theirs though.

“We were a bunch of nobodies who had never been in the top division. Everyone wrote us off. They said we didn’t have enough experience, they said we were lucky to win the Second Division and they said we were favourites to go straight back down. We didn’t have a single international until I was capped (just twice) towards the end of that season.

Ipswich declined after Sir Alf left for England. Under him, Ipswich had played a unique system suited to the players, which is what Sir Alf did to win the World Cup with England. You could argue, that Ranieri has got Leicester to play in a style that suits his players strengths and no other club has really found the answer yet!

I do wonder if Ramsey and Ranieri, who were both defenders, learned their management skills watching from the back, as the forwards wasted chances galore.

As an aside, hoe much would Chelsea or Manchester City pay for a striker, who scored thirty-three goals in a season?

May 5, 2016 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

A Better Experience In Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes has never been my favourite place, since I used to take my late son; George, to his boarding school, which inevitably meant a trip round the endless roundabouts. I was then mugged in the city by the street furniture, that I wrote about in A Pedestrian-Unfriendly City.

So when Ipswich were playing MK Dons, I thought I’d give the city one more chance.

These are a few observations.

  • The London Midland train was filthy and swimming in beer. I would assume it was supporters going to London.
  • There is no information at Milton Keynes Central station, as to how you get to the ground.
  • Bus 1 from Milton Keynes Central station, drops you just a rather cluttered short walk from Stadium MK.
  • There are no signs or maps for Away supporters, as to what is the best route.
  • Someone told me, that if you drive to the ground, parking costs £7 and you have to pay on-line.
  • I’ve never been to a British stadium before, where burger vans and tea stalls outside the ground, were conspicuous by their absence.
  • Several of the larger restaurants outside serve gluten-free food.
  • The stadium has some of the best handrails I’ve seen in a ground.
  • Coming back I just missed a bus and had to wait half-an-hour for the next small but full bus in a freezing cold shelter. I’d have taken a taxi, but there was no sign of a taxi rank.

I’ve never seen a ground, where it is assumed that everyone comes by car or supporters coach before.

I would have been distinctly miserable if Ipswich hadn’t won!

Milton Keynes is going to have to improve the buses. The number one bus, that I caught links Stadiujm MK and Milton Keynes Hospital to the stations at Milton Keynes Central and Bletchley.

This Google Map shows the area of Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes Stations, Stadium MK And The Hospital

Milton Keynes Stations, Stadium MK And The Hospital

Milton Keynes Central station is in the North West corner, with Bletchley station st the bottom. The other station at the right is Fenny Stratford station on the Marston Vale Line, which will be incorporated into the East West Rail Link.

This map shows the route of the proposed line.

East West Rail Link

East West Rail Link

Wikipedia talks about extending the Marston Vale line to Milton Keynes Central, but although the track has been created, no trains have run.

Chiltern are also looking to extend their Aylesbury service to Milton Keynes Central via Bletchley, so hopefully this might prompt improvement in the bus services to Stdium MK and the Hospital.

I doubt it will, as Milton Keynes is one of those places where you’re a total loser, if you don’t have car and why should their taxes provide for better bus transport for the disabled, elderly and those that can’t drive.

I think we need a law in this country, that every hospital should have at least a four buses per hour direct service to the main railway and bus stations.

December 13, 2015 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ipswich Town’s Away Support

At Rotherham on Saturday, where I saw Ipswich win 5-2, the away end was pretty full.

It’s always the same, even if the match is a long way away!

Ipswich does seem to have a large diaspora, but a surprising number travelled up from Suffolk.

Compared to some of the pathetic away crowds we see at Portman Road, Ipswich Town’s away support always surprises me. I think the team appreciate it too!

November 10, 2015 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Manchester United 3 – Ipswich 0

These pictures document the match.

It was all very disappointing, but then Mick has his priorities of getting out of the Championship.

Old Trafford is not the sort of stadium, I thought it would be. It had a rather tired air and compared to the Emirates or the Amex at Brighton, it was very second-rate.

September 23, 2015 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

To put it mildly Ipswich have had some rubbish on loan from various Premier League clubs in the past.

But Ainsley Maitland-Niles is in a different class.

He has all the skills and he has that added factor that so many youngsters don’t seem to possess – Keenness to get on with the game. And not in a selfish way!

For Ipswich’s first goal yesterday against Burnley, he brought the ball forward to the edge of the penalty area. Most players would have shot from distance, but he saw that Brett Pitman was free on his right and he was able to put the ball across goal for Freddie Sears to slot in.

But don’t take my word for the quality of his performance! These two paragraphs from the report in the East Anglian Daily Times describe his part in the two goals.

After Maitland-Niles’ pass into the channel, Pitman steered a low cross towards the back post and Sears only had to provide the slightest of touches inside the six yard box to help the ball on its way into the bottom corner.

One-nil became 2-0 five minutes later in the most simple of fashions; McGoldrick barely having to jump to head home Maitland-Niles’ corner from around eight yards out.

And this is Mick McCarthy’s view in an article on the BBC web site.

Read it all!

We’ve not seen a youngster of this class, wearing the blue of Ipswich since Kieron Dyer.

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , | 1 Comment

It’s My Fault HaHa!

I just had to post this story from the BBC, about how an Ipswich fan punched a hole in his ceiling when Ipswich equalised against Norwich and the scorer; Paul Anderson offered to pay for it.

Can you imagine the fuss of a Liverpool or Chelsea player did this for a fan living in Leeds!

May 14, 2015 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment