Ipswich Town: Champions of England 1961-62
by Rob Hadgraft
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Giant-killers and gallant underdogs are the lifeblood of British football. Rarely, however, does a rank outsider actually win one of the big prizes. But in the 1961-62 season Ipswich Town achieved the 'impossible' and lifted the Football League Championship trophy at the first attempt. A more unlikely candidate for winning the toughest League in the world is hard to imagine. This humble, small-town club used an old wooden cricket pavilion as a dressing room and a bullet-ridden Nissen hut as an office. Not only were resources limited, but the playing squad was full of ageing journeymen and bereft of well-known or established names. Furthermore, the club arrived in the big time with only 16 full seasons in the Football League under its belt and was struggling to attract more than 15,000 spectators to home games. Although the remarkable events of 1961-62 are occasionally relived at player reunions and by anniversary features in local newspapers, the full story has never been examined in depth. This book attempts to put that right. Follow the dramatic rise and fall of the most unlikely of champions. Assisted by unprecedented statistical data, this book tracks Ipswich Town's early days in Division Three (South) and the arrival of Alf Ramsey as manager, through the championship season itself, to the horrendous decline that set in immediately afterwards. Poignant, funny, profound - this is a classic tale of a triumph against the odds.
- Desert Island Books, October 2012
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