6 Things You Don’t Know About Ipswich Town, Newly Promoted English Club

Ipswich Town FC Ipswich Town FC

Beating Huddersfield this Saturday (2-0), Ipswich Town officially secured their promotion to the English Premier League, 22 years after being relegated from the league.

Here are 6 things you might not know about this promotion that are surprising to all football fans.

1. The club was in the third division a year ago

Having become a regular member of League One (the third English division) in 2019, Ipswich has taken the social elevator of English football in recent months.

Ipswich was in League One (third division) during the 2022–23 season and they finished second on the table. However, they were promoted to the Championship (second division).

After being promoted to the Championship in May 2023, the club located in Suffolk defied the predictions by finishing 2nd in the Championship this season, thus achieving a second promotion in a row.

2. Ed Sheeran has been sponsoring the club since 2021… and sometimes serves beers at the refreshment bar

A lover of Ipswich Town since childhood, the British pop star Ed Sheeran has invested a lot of time and money at the club.

Since 2021, the Halifax native has sponsored the “Tractor Boys”, and it is also common to see him roaming the spans of Portman Road, the historic den of Ipswich, like the most common of mortals.

In October, the singer of “Shape of You” was even seen serving pints to the club’s supporters, smiling from ear to ear.

Although he was unable to participate in the festivities of the climb this Saturday, the 33-year-old singer did meet the players on his return to England.

3. More European Cups than Monaco or OL in the trophy cabinet

Ipswich was not born yesterday. Before vegetating in the anteroom of English football between 2002 and 2019, the Suffolk club was able to build a good reputation around the continent.

Champions of England in 1962, the “Tractor Boys” won the UEFA Cup (today the Europa League) nineteen years later, their only continental trophy, by beating the Dutch club Alkmaar in the final.

With a European Cup under their belt, Ipswich boasts richer silverware than some monuments of French football like Monaco or OL. They have the same European trophy as Newcastle United or Everton.

4. Roy Keane was fired from the club in 2009

Iconic player and captain of Manchester United, Roy Keane once turned to a coaching career. A failed reconversion started at Sunderland between 2006 and 2008, then continued at Ipswich, where the club’s poor results led him to leave in 2011. He never took on the role of coach again.

5. A film shoot with… Pelé and Sylvester Stallone

In 1981, the year of Ipswich’s European coronation, certain players from the club such as the Scottish international John Wark, the Englishman Russell Osman and the Irishman Kevin O’Callaghan, took part in the film, Own the Victory, alongside the legendary Sylvester Stallone and Pelé.

A film which tells the daily life of prisoners of war, locked up in the Gensdorf camp, where Allies and German soldiers kill time by playing football in the 1940s.

6. They are nicknamed “the tractor boys”

Nicknamed “the Tractor Boys”, the Ipswich players today owe their nickname to the very strong rural roots of the Suffolk region.

It was in 2001 during a match against Leeds that this nickname was used for the first time. “We are losing to a bunch of tractor drivers,” chanted the Peacocks fans, then trailing 2-1.

A scene which subsequently gave rise to the famous ironic chant “1-0 to the Tractor Boys”, which we could hear next season.