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The Supporters Club AGM took place on the 29th October 2015
The results of the committee elections were as follows:
Chair: Elizabeth Edwards
Secretary: Irene Davey
Treasurer: Stephen Doe
The AGM was followed by a Q&A with Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor and then by a Q&A with MD Ian Milne, Club Secretary and Supporters Liaison Officer Sally Webb, Company Secretary and Finance Director Mark Andrews, Head of Sales Rosie Richardson, Media Manager Steve Pearce and Operations Director of Centreplate Matthew Nicholson (our catering is outsourced to Centreplate). Simon Milton hosted this part of the evening.
We thank all at ITFC who accepted our invitation to the event and for answering questions from the fans.
Here is the Chair's report from the AGM:
The Supporters Club continues to be more active year on year, with more and more fans taking part in the events that we run throughout the season.
I would like to thank all my committee for their help and support over the last year, not just attending our monthly meetings but making time to support the huge programme of events that we now run. Gerry Gardiner and Tim Drain have also been really helpful throughout the year. Thanks are also due to the football club, and in particular to Ian Milne, Sally Webb, Jade Cole and Simon Milton, all of whom have continued to be very supportive . They have helped us to organise and attend our events, and have responded to issues raised by fans. Ian attends almost every one of our events and is always happy to talk to fans.
Our activities over the course of the last year have built on previous successes. We continue to be active members of the club’s Supporters Forum, which provides input and feedback on a range of issues, and meets 4 times a season on matchdays. The notes from those meetings are published and demonstrate the value of the forum to the club and the fanbase.
We have 33 branches around the world – we added a new branch in Waterford this year – there is a Daryl Murphy connection, and the next new branch will be a bit closer to home, in Stowmarket. Overseas, I continue to be amazed at the passion and commitment of fans in so many countries – we have had visits from several hundred overseas fans in the last year, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Australia, the USA, Canada and Bermuda. We organise events and meet-ups whenever we hear of visitors from afar, and it has been great to make so many new friends, and keep in touch with those who have become established friends over the years.
The number of people taking part in Supporters Club activities continues to increase – around 1,000 fans took part in organised events over the last year, with many, many more involved around the branch network, at their local level. Following a question at last year’s AGM, ITFC started a “Player of the Month” award, which we were pleased to be able to co-sponsor.
We held successful “On The Road” events at Bury Town FC, the Brantham Bull and the Dove Street Inn in Ipswich. These events combine Q&A, fun quizzes and informal chat / photo and autograph opportunities with first team players. We always raise funds for the Academy through raffles and auctions, though entry is free to all fans.
We also ran three “Legends on the Town” evenings at the Dove Street Inn, with Terry Butcher, Kieron Dyer & Titus Bramble and James Scowcroft, all giving some very different insights into ITFC over a few generations of players. Not everyone is able to get to Ipswich for midweek evening socials, so we also trialled – successfully - some “Legends in Legends” events, post-match, and hosted by Bryan Hamilton, with the main event taking place in the spring, the day after the annual ex-players dinner.
The annual “Supporters Day” continues to get bigger each year, so now takes up a whole weekend. This year, we started with a 5-a-side football tournament, including teams from Norway and Italy (and with an American referee!). We held a huge pre-match event at the Dove, with Radio Suffolk’s “Life’s a Pitch” broadcasting live, and a Q&A / meet & greet with Terry Butcher, Kevin Beattie and Mick Stockwell. The Q&A was supposed to last about 15 minutes – but we couldn’t stop them from telling stories, and in the end it lasted at least an hour longer. Post-match we had a “Legends in Legends” event.
The annual Player Awards Evening, was split between Legends Bar (for the meet-and-greet hour) and the Sir Bobby Robson suite, and sold out weeks in advance. It was no surprise that Daryl Murphy was elected as Supporters’ Player of the Year, following the usual online and around-the-ground voting, with some 75% of all votes cast.
This season, we have already taken part in the club’s fantastic open day, back in July – we handed out around 1000 badges, stickers and fixture cards, as well as putting on a display of events held and planned.
A real highlight of the pre-season programme was the friendly away to Fortuna Dusseldorf. The idea for a match had been around for a while, but our fantastic Fortuna Blues branch took on the challenge of persuading the clubs to meet. Around 600 Town fans headed over to Germany, and had a fabulous weekend. We organised a fans match between ITFC and Fortuna (we won), and there was even a match between a combined Fortuna / ITFC fans team v Fortuna Legends on the main pitch ahead of the first team game. After the match, there was the most amazing fan party, with over 1000 people in a vast outdoor nightclub, both first teams in attendance too. Special thanks are due to Ulli Munsterberg, Friedie Schacht and Christoph Symann, and also to Tom Koster for running a superb stadium tour the next day.
I mentioned above that our events are used to fundraise and promote the ITFC Academy. It is fabulous to see more players coming through the Academy, with Josh Emmanuel and Miles Kenlock having made first-team starts this season already. We raised over £5,000 for the Academy at our events over the last year, though of course branches and individuals have contributed much more in addition to this. We will continue to encourage all fans to contribute to the Academy by attending our events and, where they are able to, through direct sponsorship.
Beyond the pure social side of being fans, the Supporters Club also does a lot to make the club aware of issues that fans are concerned about, sometimes by putting fans directly in touch with club officials, and sometimes by taking responsibility ourselves for issues that impact many fans. We are not a political organisation – I believe we should help and encourage fans to put their own views across.
So, like last year, as soon as we have finished the formal business of the AGM, there’s a chance for you to get to know many of the people who run many areas of the club’s activities. Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor will be with us first, and then we’ll focus on the people who run the club off-field. But at all our other events you will find club staff in attendance and happy to talk about their roles and respond to your questions, concerns – or even praise!
Finally, to look ahead, we have even more events planned for the rest of this season. These include more frequent Legend appearances in Legends Bar (huge thanks to Dutch stars Arnold Muhren, Frans Thijssen and Romeo Zondervan for popping up a few weeks ago). Our first “On the Road” event at the Dove Street Inn is on November 16th, and there are dates reserved for three “Legends” evenings during the course of the season, also at the Dove. Following a brilliant evening at the Gladstone Arms in Stowmarket with John Wark, we will explore how we can run similar events elsewhere.
We have printed over 1,000 Player of the Year postcards, with our planned events listed on the back. Massive thanks to ITFC for agreeing this programme and for being so good to work with. We will continue to give all fans a chance to get closer to ITFC, by meeting current first team players and legends, coaching staff and senior management. Thank you all for supporting our activities – we’re looking forward to the rest of this season, and we’ll have some fun along the way.
Liz Edwards - Chair
Player Awards Evening 2015 – a clean sweep for Daryl Murphy
The Supporters Club Player Awards Evening took place in Legends Bar and the Sir Bobby Robson Suite after the Blackpool home game, the 3-2 win getting us off to a good start. The event was sold out weeks in advance, and we collected thousands of votes for Player of the Year around the ground before the game, in addition to the huge online vote.
Huge thanks to BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy, who expertly hosted the evening for us, and to Mick McCarthy and the whole first team squad, who made it a night to remember. We held a reception is Legends Bar, with autographs, selfies and chat, before moving downstairs for the awards.
It was no great surprise that Daryl Murphy won the Player of the Year (we’ve waited ages for a striker to win, and he has had such a great season), as well as Platinum Members Player of the Year, and Junior Blues Player of the Year.
Daryl in turn presented the Young Fan of the Year award to Ben King. The Dales Roberts Academy Player of the Year was Teddy Bishop, who has had such a fantastic breakthrough season.
Many thanks to Franc MacKenzie for the photos.
Legends on the Town with James Scowcroft
Our latest Legends on the Town event – the third of the season – saw James Scowcroft as a very late sub for David Wright (who had had to travel up to Huddersfield with the Under-16s). We had another sell-out crowd at Academy sponsors, the Dove Street Inn, for an evening expertly hosted by Simon Milton.
There were many of our Swedish fans present, and questions focused largely on how the Academy is run, and how our coaches (“Scowie” is one of them, of course) work with the players and help them to manage the pressures at the start of their careers.
Many thanks to Iain Blacklaw for the photos.
This letter has been received from The Football Supporters's Federation
Football fans are the cornerstone of the professional and non-league game in England. Regardless of age, disability, gender, race, faith, sexual orientation or any other identifying feature, fans should feel safe and welcome at games.
Kick It Outand the Football Supporters’ Federation jointly launched the ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign in March 2014, supported by the Premier League’s fans fund, to help target a number of fan initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion across the professional and non-league game.
As a result of a successful year please find attached (click HERE to open in PDF format) our first 'Fans for Diversity' annual report. Should you wish to receive a hard copy of this document please just let me know the best postal address to send this to.
The campaign continues to have funding for any fans lead initiatives. If you think this is something your club's supporter organisations would like to get involved in please pass on my email and ask them to get in touch with any ideas/suggestions to our Diversity and Campaigns Manager Anwar Uddin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina Donkin, The Football Supporters' Federation.
ITFC On the Road - West Suffolk
On Monday 16th February 2015 we held our third – and biggest yet – West Suffolk On The Road event at Bury Town FC. Over 100 fans packed the bar, and enjoyed an evening with Cole Skuse, Darren Ambrose and Alan Lee, all expertly compered by Bury Town (and Ipswich) legend, Simon Milton.
There was a short ITFC quiz, raffle and auction, as well as a chance for all fans to chat to the players and collect photos and autographs. Managing Director Ian Milne was also on the top table, fielded several questions and also chatted informally with fans – he attends almost all our events, giving all fans personal access to the club’s top management.
The evening raised £660 for the ITFC Academy. Huge thanks go to Russell Ward (Chairman of Bury Town), Chris Ward (Bury Town), Martin Swallow (Bury’s stadium announcer) and Nigel Cole of the Bury St Edmunds Branch of the Supporters Club.
Biggest and best Supporters Weekend
Friday 20th February through to Tuesday 24th February 2015
Our 6th annual Supporters Day turned into a whole weekend, with fantastic support from fans around the world and from ITFC as well. We began with six teams competing in a football tournament at Goals, with our Norwegian fans finishing a very close second to a local side captained by Julian Tyndale-Biscoe.
Matchday began with a huge crowd at the Dove Street Inn, for our Q&A with Town MD Ian Milne and Town Legends Mick Stockwell and Terry Butcher. With Mark Murphy broadcasting Life’s a Pitch for Radio Suffolk, we managed to kidnap Kevin Beattie to join the panel – it took them a long time to get him back on air. Fabulous too, that many fans managed to get onto the radio during the programme.
After the match, Bryan Hamiton hosted a Q&A with John Wark and Allan Hunter in a packed Legends Bar – they stayed for autographs, photos and chat, which was hugely appreciated by so many of our fans, both regulars and visitors.
The evening continued in the pubs, restaurants and bars of Ipswich, with our Italian branch enjoying a proper, traditional English curry (thanks to the Dhaka for looking after us so well).
Come Sunday, and the huge group of Norwegians made their way to Bury St Edmunds for a Greene King brewery tour and pub crawl, before stopping off at various hostelries on their way back to Ipswich.
On the Monday, they had a stadium tour as well as a trip up to Playford Road to meet some of the players, before it was their turn to hit the curry trail, again back at the Dhaka.
The weekend officially finished Tuesday night, when we enjoyed that wonderful 4-2 win over Birmingham.
An Evening with Terry Butcher - 4th December 2015
We had a brilliant evening with Town and England legend Terry Butcher at the Dove Street Inn on 4th December 2014. Terry told us some quite hilarious stories from his many years at Portman Road, as well as giving us some fascinating insights into the modern game. It was great also to welcome Tyrone Mings, who turned up to meet Terry, and found himself the subject of one of the questions – Terry was asked what advice he would give Tyrone at this stage in his career, and he responded with an immediate: “Stay!”
Asked about highlights from his international career – 77 England caps – Terry said: “Standing there when the national anthem is played – that’s the best thing”.
Terry also recalled a game at Wembley when he accidentally injured a match official: “I kicked the linesman in the tunnel – just below the kneecap, catching him with the back two studs as I had a stretch. He hobbled the whole game”.
The evening raised funds for the ITFC Academy with entrance, raffle and auction raising £840.
Here are a couple more photographs taken during the evening.
These 4 photographs were taken by Iain Blacklaw.
Fans get a new place to talk football - The Wall
Fans of The Football League now have a new place to talk football following the launch of The Wall on the new-look League website.
The Wall draws together news, pictures, video and social media content from The League and its 72 member clubs, making it an ideal place for fans to find out what is going on around the grounds.
Click HERE for more information.
Bury St Edmunds Branch of ITFC Supporters Club
The Bury St Edmunds branch are running a coach to all ITFC home games again this season. The fares are only £6.00 return for adults & OAP's, and £4.00 return for Juniors and Students.
They pick up and drop off at 9 locations around Bury, including Moreton Hall. The coach parks very close to the ground in Ipswich.
For full details visit the Bury St Edmunds branch page in this website.
NEW COACH TRAVELLERS ARE MADE VERY WELCOME.
Italian Branch YouTube channel - the Italian Branch of the ITFC Supporters Club have a YouTube channel which can be visited at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHb8lIfs57QbEszJB9nqmjw
Italy Branch - interview with Turnstile Blues
The Italy Branch were recently interviewed by the fanzine Turnstile Blues. The interview can be found at this website location: http://www.turnstile-blues.co.uk
Australasia Branch Newsletters
Volume 8, Issue 8 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Volume 8, Issue 7 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Volume 8, Issue 6 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Volume 8, Issue 5 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Volume 8, Issue 4 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Volume 8, Issue 3 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Volume 8, Issue 2 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
Volume 8, Issue 1 of the newsletter "The Punch Downunder", produced by the Australasia branch, can be downloaded by clicking HERE
These issues, and previous back issues, are all downloadable from the Australasia Branch page within this website.
Football League Guide to Disabled Facilities and Ticketing at Championship grounds
Please find below a link to the Football League Guide to Disabled Facilities and Ticketing at Championship grounds:
ITFC Supporters Forum
A supporters forum has been set up by the football club, the aim of which is to help the Club to improve its performance in a range of areas including retail, ticketing, match entertainment, communications, programmes, safety, security and catering (not a forum for the debate of either on-field/player issues or the Club's finances).
The group which consists of 13 members plus Football Club representatives will meet at Portman Road prior to home fixtures.
If you would like to raise any specific issues for discussion please email email@example.com
Radio Suffolk is after your views on Town matches.
So if your a follower of the Super Blues home or away why not give your view of the game on the Breakfast Show.
If your interested in becoming a fan on the phone then contact Kate Arkell via email or call 01473 340707
If you'd really like to save some petrol money, why not consider lift sharing to matches? Apart from saving on fuel, you'll reduce wear and tear on your car as well as helping to ease congestion. ITFC have a group on the web-site to promote this activity. Not only would this save money for people but also help towards the saveyourenergyfortheblues campaign.
If you don't know anyone locally to share with, why not sign up with Liftshare.org - they can put you in touch with other drivers and passengers willing to car share.