Ipswich Town and Portman Road:
Ipswich Town was formed as an amateur club in 1878, turning professional in 1936. The Blues won the Southern League at the first attempt and finished third the following season, which meant they were elected to the Football League on May 30th, 1938.
They started in the Third Division (South) and the club’s first success came in the 1953-54 season when Ipswich Town won the title.
A year later, however, they were down again.
Alf Ramsey’s appointment as manager proved a turning point for the Suffolk side. In the 1956-57 season, Ipswich Town won the Third Division (South) title again and would go on to win the Second Division in 1960-61 and the First Division Championship a year later, qualifying for the European Cup.
With Ramsey having left to manage England, the club was back in the Second Division by the end of the 1963-64 season.
Things looked brighter for the club following the appointment of Bobby Robson in January 1969.
In 1978, the club won the FA Cup.
Losing another manager to the England job was a cruel blow to the club in 1982 and the Blues struggled to secure the return to the top flight that they craved.
When John Lyall was appointed manager in 1990, he set about rebuilding the club and his men were crowned Second Division champions in the 1991-92 season and back in the top flight for the Premier League’s inaugural season.
Dropping down again two seasons later, Ipswich Town eventually bounced back up via a play-off final win in the 1999-2000 season.
The Blues, against all odds, stormed the Premier League, ultimately finishing fifth on the final day of their first season back among England’s elite.
An inconsistent season in 2001-02 saw Ipswich Town relegated once again and the Tractor Boys have failed to return to the top flight since.
Ipswich Town played their early matches at Broomhill Park and Brook’s Hill but the club moved to Portman Road in 1884 and the Blues have played there ever since, becoming one of the first clubs to introduce nets to their goals in 1890.
Following significant redevelopment fifteen years ago, the stadium is now all-seater with a capacity of 30,311.
In the past decade, statues of former Ipswich Town and England managers Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson have been unveiled outside the stadium.
Away fans are seated in the upper tier of the Cobbold Stand along one side of the ground. Leg room is at a premium in this section of the ground. Views from this part of the ground are generally good, unless you find yourself right at the back of the away section.
How to get there:
Depending on traffic, a journey from Birmingham to Portman Road by car should take between two hours and thirty minutes and three hours.
For directions to Portman Road, click here.
Use postcode IP1 2DA for sat navs.
There are 563 parking spaces at New Portman Road car park, which is, unsurprisingly, located at Portman Road, IP1 2BP. Parking there costs £1 per hour or £5 for a full day.
55 spaces are available at Portman Road car park, IP1 2DW. Parking there is the same price as at New Portman Road.
Parking is also available at Waterfront Car Park, IP1 1XH.
Those travelling from Birmingham to Ipswich by train will find they have to change at least once, usually at Peterborough or in London. A train journey from Birmingham to Ipswich will take between three hours and fifteen minutes and four hours and twenty minutes. A return ticket for tomorrow costs £85 for adults.
Portman Road is only a quarter of a mile away from Ipswich train station, meaning that those arriving by train can walk to the ground in five minutes.
Where to drink:
Directly opposite Ipswich train station, you will find The Station Hotel, which will be open from 8a.m. The Station Hotel is expected to be the most popular choice for away fans tomorrow.
A stone’s throw from Portman Road is Punch & Judy, a family pub where home and away fans are welcome. It will be open from 11a.m.
In the town centre, Dove Street Inn on St Helen’s Street, will be open from noon.
The waterfront area has been developed and Isaacs on the Quay, open from 11a.m. tomorrow, will be popular with real ale enthusiasts.
As always, wherever you go and whatever you do, have a great day.