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Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon on when the Blues’ past met their present

Ah, the good old days — that’s why I had been looking forward to hearing Terry Butcher’s stories.

I was born in the wrong generation: For the golden ages of music, newspaper journalism and, most importantly, Ipswich Town.

But as soon as Tyrone Mings turned up in the audience at The Dove Street Inn, for the supporters’ club’s first Legends on The Town night, the past collided with the present.

The exchange that ensued was fascinating. And it was clear Terry Butcher was as in love with the Town now as he was then.

‘I would walk over glass to manage Ipswich,’ he answered to my question about how close he had become to taking our hot seat (not even close, he said).

He got a massive applause for his advice to Mings: ‘Stay put’. And for telling him not to go anywhere to be a squad player.

I encountered our non-League signing turning up unexpectedly before, after he bought two cakes from my stall for dementia research at Bury Town, without taking the cakes.

He’s a fans’ dream, on and off the pitch, and I really hope he stays.

Thursday reminded me of why I love this club, and my wife came out with gold after my grandad and myself cheered on the 4-1 victory over Leeds on Saturday from my living room (like we used to in Churchmans).

‘It’s a good time for Ipswich fans, you’ve had to put up with a lot of c**p, but finally now you’re getting your money’s worth from you’re tickets.’

In our seven years together she’s often implored me to switch to ‘a winning team’. Now, finally, we are that team again.

And ahead of a winnable trip to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday (3pm), it feels good to have them back :-)

* Blues news: Football players often get a bad reputation, but hats off to Ipswich players who put their hands in their own pockets before delivering Christmas presents to hospices and hospitals. They don’t have to do it, but doing so makes a world of difference to those in need they meet in our communities.

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