When the Tractor Boys came to town

Guy Lambert

Many moons have passed since Ipswich Town last graced to top division of English football, but before the clubs fateful banishment from the Premier League 2002, the club were inaugural members of the division in 1992/93. 

The club’s last appearance in the Premier League came to a disappointing end after a two-season spell between 2000 and 2002, but prior to their relegation, Ipswich were in fact regulars in the top division and Europe.  In 1992, the club finished top of the Second Division table, and gained an invitation to participate in the newly formed Premier League’s first season.

The new first division was compiled of twenty two teams, thus containing forty four fixtures a season. Ipswich’s first match and debut ended in a 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa on the 15th of August. But who was in the match day squad?

The season began promisingly for the Tractor Boys, and by the turn of the new year the side had only lost two matches.  The found themselves sitting comfortably, 4th in the table, but a steep decline followed.  With goals drying up from Chris Kiwomya, Gavin Johnson, John Wark and Jason Dozzell, the club had sunk to 16th position come the end of the season.

Hopes of what could have been were dashed, and the players needed to regroup for the 1993/94 season. The comeback never occurred, and a final day survival race saw Ipswich cling on to their top flight status by a single point. One year later, Ipswich were condemned to the Division One after finishing bottom of the league.  Their residence in the Premier League was over for the time being…

Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys. Source Giphy

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