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Archives on Tour

CLASS OF ’81: FOLLOWING IPSWICH TOWN TO UEFA CUP VICTORY 

See the debut of Suffolk Archives’ travelling exhibition trailer as we hit the road this summer. Join us for a display exploring the history of Ipswich Town Football Club developed in partnership with the Ipswich Town Heritage Society.

Charting the high, lows and everything in between, we will follow The Tractor Boys’ journey through history from the perspective of the fans, culminating in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the club’s UEFA cup victory in 1981.

Stop in and see us as we travel the county and perhaps share your own memories of Backing the Blues.


Get a taster below of some of the material which will feature in our touring display trailer this summer!

UEFA Cup 1981

The 1980/81 season was so nearly the most disappointing in ITFC’s history. The team had been so close to winning the League, had been knocked out of the FA Cup in the Semi-Final, but went on to win the UEFA Cup.

Bobby Robson has rebuilt the 1978 team into the 1981 heroes: Cooper, Mills, Beattie, Thijssen, Osman, Butcher, Wark, Muhren, Mariner, Brazil, Gates, Burley, McCall.

Supporter Graeme Brooke at the 1981 Quarter Final away to St. Etienne:

“We travelled overnight, with a train to London, another one to Dover, boat to Dunkirk, further train to Paris, across Paris and then finally a train south to St Etienne. It was all good humoured and a lot of beer and songs were shared… The game started and we were behind early on but the rest of the game was history and to this day of well over 1000 games and many great matches, this stands out as by far the best performance. An overnight train north to Paris and breakfast at a cafe in shadow of the Eiffel Tower – champagne and croissants of course – and back to Calais, very merry, to get the hovercraft.”

Ipswich Town’s Road to Victory

(Aggregate scores)

⚽ First round: Aris Football Club, Thessaloniki, Greece. 17 Sep 1980 Portman Rd and 1 Oct 1980 Thessaloniki (6-4) ⚽

⚽ Second round: Bohemians Praha 1905, Prague, Czech Republic. 22 Oct 1980 Portman Rd and 5 Nov 1980 Prague (3:2) ⚽

⚽ Third round: RTS Widzew Łódź, Lodz, Poland. 26 Nov 1980 Portman Rd and 10 Dec 1980 Lodz (5:1) ⚽

⚽ Quarter finals: Saint-Étienne, Saint-Étienne, France. 4 Mar 1981 Saint-Étienne and 18 Mar 1981 Portman Rd (7:2) ⚽

⚽ Semi-finals: Koln, Germany. 8 Apr 1981 Portman Rd and 22 Apr 1981, Koln (2:0) ⚽

🏆 Final: AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands. 6 May 1981 Portman Rd and 20 May 1981 Amsterdam (5:4) 🏆

Suffolk Archives collections contain a whole range of materials relating to the history of Ipswich Town football club from their early days up to the 2000’s and beyond. Including fan scrapbooks, newspaper cuttings, photographs, programmes, supporters association booklets, and much more. Get a taster below of some of the material which will feature in our touring display trailer this summer.

Thank you to Ipswich Town Heritage Society for sharing their knowledge, text and images for this small online display.