ITFC UEFA Cup 40th anniversary
To mark the fact that Wednesday 30 September is National Sporting Heritage Day, Suffolk Archives and the Ipswich Town Heritage Society have launched a new partnership aimed at celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Ipswich Town Football Club winning the UEFA Cup in 1981.
The partners will co-create a brand new touring exhibition, which will visit community groups, football clubs and public venues across the county, plus on some matchdays, the Fanzone at Portman Road.
The exhibition has a dual aim; to share a specially developed display focused on the history of the club and the journey to the 1981 UEFA cup win, while also collecting visitors’ own stories, memories, and experiences from that historic season. These will go on to form an important part of the Ipswich Town Football Club collection, for future generations to enjoy.
Suffolk Archives will host a variety of complementary events and activities around 20 May, the date of the historic win, at its three branches in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich (The Hold), and Lowestoft, as well as online.
The team will be recruiting volunteers to assist with the touring part of the exhibition, which is to be a first for Suffolk Archives. This has been made possible as part of the countywide programme of activities supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, aimed at engaging more people than ever before with Suffolk’s archival heritage.
Councillor Paul West, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, said: “For any Town fan, or for that matter for those who were simply Suffolk residents at the time, 20 May 1981 is a date that will bring back happy memories. I was eleven at the time and remembering listening to the second leg on the radio in my parents’ front garden and losing count of all the goals that were being scored.
“We are pleased to be working closely with the passionate members of the Ipswich Town Heritage Society to commemorate this golden period in the club’s history. I am glad to see that the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported The Hold project continues to facilitate new outreach projects such as this, enabling so many more people to discover our fascinating archives.”
Elizabeth Edwards, Ipswich Town Heritage Society said: “We are looking forward to working with The Hold to develop a fabulous exhibition, to tour the county next spring. It will be great to welcome people to share their own memories of the UEFA Cup-winning season in 1981, and capture, for future generations, first-hand experiences of that fabulous season.”
Rosie Richardson, Director of Sales at Ipswich Town FC commented: “This project will take the club into our wider community, It will give supporters across the county a chance to share their love for the club, and to make sure that their memories become a part of the club’s history”.
Dr Justine Reilly, Director of the national Sporting Heritage organisation, recognises the importance of this project: “Suffolk Archives and the Ipswich Town Heritage Society have created a project that will take a key part of the club’s history out to the people. It will engage a wide and diverse audience across the county with a unique and moving display covering a key period in the football club’s history. This ground-breaking initiative shows how sporting heritage can inspire and engage communities.”
The Hold project is being made possible thanks to funding support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, other national organisations, and local Suffolk heritage groups.