Skip to content
This day’s portion

Ipswich v Exeter, 29 Apr 2023 (the one where everything went perfectly and we were promoted)

After 20 or so years of – well, tedium and mediocrity, mostly – we finally got to enjoy promotion at Ipswich Town. Leaving the third tier of English football for the Championship might not sound that exciting, and probably shows how far the club fell during the Marcus Evans era, but it was a magical day. Of course, winning 6-0 (and being 5-0 up after 32 minutes), helped. As did the glorious spring weather.

For once, the town was full and buzzing on a Saturday afternoon. Child A and I enjoyed a few beers before the match, firstly at the Duke of York and then the Thomas Wolsey.

Portman Road was heaving. I think most of us expected to win, but not to be 5-0 up after 32 minutes. Perhaps a 2-0 or even a nervy 2-1 versus a ten-behind-the-ball Exeter. But to be home and dry after 20 minutes or so was both fantastic – I’ve never known Portman Road louder – and frankly unbelievable. As you can imagine, the North Stand concourse was fun at half-time:

Description of this video

Hundreds of Ipswich Town fans gathered in the North Stand concourse. Most are singing, some are raising their arms and many are drinking lager from paper cups. The same song swells for a minute, a repetitive coda: “Ayee ayee ayee ohhh – ITFC – we’re the blue army.”

I missed two goals due to going for a pee. After 47 minutes it was 6-0, and the game petered out as the fact that we were being promoted sunk in. At the final whistle there was a fairly polite pitch “invasion”, which I’m glad to say my son got to take part in.

Description of this video

Hundreds of Ipswich Town fans have run onto the pitch as viewed from the North Stand. Blue flares have been lighted and fans are embracing and singing. A few malcontents in the stand can be heard booing them, for some reason.

Shame there were a few boos – after the dross these fans have had to put up with for years they’re entitled to their fun, and to express their joy on the pitch. Blue Action have helped keep the atmosphere from slipping into the funereal after we were relegated from the Championship, and (temporarily, I’m glad to say) became a middling third tier team. Besides, if you check out Harry Clarke and Luke Woolfenden’s Twitter, you’ll see the players were more than happy to celebrate with the fans after the match (and good on them!) 🤷‍♂️

And next season? Well, the team’s good enough, there’ll be a few new players and our style suits better quality football. Another promotion? At the very least, we’ll be giving them a run for their money – who, to top off a perfect day, lost 2-1, confirming next season in the Championship 😂.