Me and My Club
with Michael Hogan
Town fan Michael Hogan discusses his favourite Town goal, greatest Town game and more.
How did you become a Town fan?
I grew up in Felixstowe, 14 miles from Portman Road, so supporting my local club just seemed like the natural thing to do. Unlike my brother, who supports Liverpool - which he claims wasn't just because they were winning everything at the time. I hope you're reading this and feeling suitably ashamed, Patrick.
First Town game. Year/team/score/ground?
ITFC vs Liverpool in September 1977. That way, we both got to see our teams. It was a one-all draw too, which somehow seemed fair. Kevin Beattie headed a corner towards goal and Trevor Whymark turned it in, before Kenny Dalglish hit a cracking equaliser from outside the box. I vividly remember feeling slightly sick as Paul Cooper dived despairingly and the ball hit the back of the net.
Favourite Town player of all time and why?
Head says Arnold Muhren, with his Dutch friend Frans Thijssen a close second. But my heart says John Wark, who was a lion for us during his three spells at the club. A lion with a walrus moustache. I also loved Kevin Beattie, Paul Cooper (those penalty saves), Paul Mariner (that mullet) and Eric Gates (socks around his ankles, taunting defenders into fouling him).
Worst moment as a Town Fan?
The climaxes of the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons, when we were narrowly pipped to the First Division title - first by Villa, then (even worse) by Liverpool. I think I cried the first time, embarrassingly. The 9-0 thrashing by Man United in 1995 was another low point - although I still think two of their goals should've been disallowed. We were robbed.
Favourite Town goal ever and why?
Roger Osborne's winner in the 1978 FA Cup Final. An obvious choice but it was such a glorious moment and what an unsung hero to score it. Fairytale stuff and just beautiful, especially after we'd dominated the game and hit the woodwork three times. For comedy value, I'm also partial to that Norwich own goal in the 1996 local derby, when Bryan Gunn air-kicked at a Robert Ullathorne backpass, the ball trickled into the net for a winner and Ullathorne looked like he was going to burst into tears. Bless that divot.
Best Ipswich Town captain of all time and why?
Mick Mills, obviously. He lifted the FA Cup and UEFA Cup for us. And also captained England at the 1982 World Cup, which was a source of glowing pride. Another textbook Town 'tache, too. My mum fancied him and who could blame her?
Favourite piece of Town memorabilia is?
My 1978 FA Cup Final programme - a family friend brought it back from Wembley for me. I also have a Bobby Robson memorial scarf (half-and-half Ipswich and Newcastle) and a framed poster, made by Those Were The Days fanzine, of the FA Cup-winning team surrounded by cultural figures from the era (Bagpuss, Tucker Jenkins, Suzi Quattro etc) in spoof Sgt. Pepper style. It hangs in my bathroom and cheers me up every time I see it.
Greatest Town game you have watched & why?
The 2000 play-off final, when we came from behind to beat Barnsley 4-2 and clinch promotion to the Premiership. Wembley weather, lots of singing and when Martijn "Rolls" Reuser sealed it with a last-gasp goal, I almost combusted with joy.
Who is your favourite Town manager and why?
Bobby Robson by a mile. He was everyone's footballing dad. He even ruffled my hair when I got his autograph outside the ground. A great manager and total gent, who presided over the greatest period in our history. George Burley is a distant second and I'm fond of Big Mick McCarthy.
Most memorable Town moment as a fan of Ipswich and why?
One of the moments I've mentioned already, boringly enough - the '78 FA Cup final, '81 Uefa Cup win or the 2000 play-offs. The three happiest days of my life as a Town fan. And probably everyone's, unless they were around in 1962. We've had many dark days but those three make it all worthwhile. Wouldn't have it any other way.