Suffolk

Ipswich Town 1981 Uefa Cup victory exhibition

Ipswich Town's Mick Mills with the Uefa Cup
Image caption Ipswich captain Mick Mills with the Uefa Cup won on 20, May 1981

An exhibition on Ipswich Town's European campaigns is being held to mark the 30th anniversary of the club's 1981 Uefa Cup victory.

The club and Ipswich Museum have gathered together photos, video and memorabilia at the Town Hall Galleries.

It includes the replica of the trophy and John Wark's two hat-trick balls, which helped him break the Uefa Cup goalscoring record.

The free exhibition runs until 3 September 2011.

It features gifts exchanged between clubs, grandstand seating for watching DVDs and a sound recorder for visitors to share their memories.

Jayne Austin, collections manager at the museum, said: "We really want people to feel like they're involved in the match.

"You can sit there in genuine stadium seats watching a DVD we've had custom-made for the exhibition and you can climb up the steps and join Mick Mills lifting the Uefa Cup.

"So many people have anecdotes that they want to share about those days and the ones that stick in my mind are the ones about the good behaviour of the fans at a time when English football hooliganism was infamous."

'Battered teams'

Ipswich's first foray in Europe was in the European Cup in 1962 following their League Championship victory under Alf Ramsey.

After winning a preliminary tie against Floriana of Malta, they lost 4-2 on aggregate to AC Milan in the first round.

Starting with the 1973-74 Uefa Cup campaign, Bobby Robson took them into Europe for nine out of ten seasons, culminating in the 1981 victory over AZ Alkmaar of Holland in the two-legged final.

John Wark was the highest goalscorer in 1980-81 with 14, a record for the Uefa Cup at the time.

"[Portman Road] was a fortress," said Mr Wark. "The night games brought a full house, they got behind us and we battered teams.

"They were scared and as we were coming out you could see the fear in their eyes and it was like a one goal start.

Image caption John Wark scores his 14th Uefa Cup goal that season in the second leg of the final in Amsterdam

"I think the header at St Etienne is the goal that sticks out, but it's a great feat to score three penalties in one game against the same goalkeeper [against Aris Salonika in the first round]."

Ipswich captain Mick Mills was also skipper of the side that won the FA Cup in 1978.

He said the Uefa Cup final second leg was almost an anti-climax: "We basically did all the work at home by winning 3-0.

"In many respects it was almost quite a disappointing day to win the Uefa Cup in a big stadium that wasn't really full and, having lost the game as well [4-2], it wasn't so exciting.

"But round for round, winning the Uefa Cup was a far bigger achievement than winning the FA Cup."

The 1981 Ipswich squad is at the Ipswich Corn Exchange on Monday, 30 May, 2011 for a reunion show arranged by the Ipswich Evening Star and hosted by BBC Suffolk's Stephen Foster and broadcaster Stuart Jarrold.

BBC Suffolk is broadcasting a two hour show called The Boys of '81 about the Uefa Cup win on Monday, 20 May, 2011 between midday and 2pm.

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