From 1972 – 1982, during a golden decade of my youth, Ipswich Town Football Club were in the top league of English and Welsh Football. We came 2nd twice, 3rd thrice, 4th twice, 6th twice and 12th once (’78 when they were too busy winning the FA Cup). The team rocked Europe during this period too, finally winning the UEFA Cup in ’81. Is it any wonder, as an adult, that I’m frustrated by their lack of success since (aside from an astonishing 5th and a brief return to European competition in 2001).
Now in the second league, it’s New Year’s Day and we’re looking stronger than we have in years. 6th in the table, we’re actually in the play-off zone. For the first time in many years, at such an early point in the season, I’m confident we won’t be involved in a relegation struggle. Hopefully we can only get stronger.
Sports teams aren’t like partners; you don’t fall in and out of love with them. You can’t easily move on to a new one, and divorce is rare. People have their heart in their local childhood team, regardless of success. It’s a love we carry all our lives. We deserve our own medal.