THE perfect way to celebrate their 25th anniversary, is how Sporting 87 manager John Warnock described their encounter against a team made up of Ipswich Legends on Sunday.
Warnock’s players took the Victory Ground field to face a team made up of former Town heroes including, 1980/81 UEFA Cup winners John Wark and Russell Osman as well as former Premier League stars Fabian Wilnis and James Scowcroft for a special one-off match to help raise funds towards redevelopment plans at the sports centre.
Despite the host of big name attractions, it was in fact one of the sponsors, Darren Grundy of First Class Cars in Bury St Edmunds, playing in one of four auctioned places in the Legends team, who stole the show, scoring twice as the Tractor Boys of yesteryear showed class is certainly permanent in a 3-1 win.
Lifelong Town fan Warnock, who played a major role in setting up the occasion with former Town players Simon Melton and Wark, reflected on the experience and heaped praise upon all those involved in the match.
“It was the perfect way to celebrate the occasion and everything went absolutely perfectly,” he said.
“It was a fantastic day and was amazing to see so many people there to watch match.
“All the Ipswich players involved were brilliant. Professional footballers often get a bad rep, but they were amazing, signing autographs at the end and spending time with everyone, which made it that extra bit special.
“I can still remember John Wark in the great UEFA Cup run scoring against AZ Alkmaar and the performances of the brilliant Russell Osman and so to have them here still showing their ability was amazing.
“Some of them are in their 50s, but their class still shone through and for an Ipswich Town fan like myself it was amazing to see.”
The event was created to help raise funds for an ambitious project at the Victory Ground, which has plans in place for £2.1 million redevelopment including a sports hall and cricket pavilion.
Warnock spoke of the boost in revenue created by the match and took the opportunity to thank the hundreds of fans who made a contribution.
“At the moment we have raised £4,000 and this event was a massive boost towards what we are trying to achieve,” he added.
“Times are hard at the moment and so we are extremely grateful to everyone that turned up and helped support the cause.
“We will continue to keep raising money with other fund raising events in the future to hopefully help reach that total.”