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1978 FA Cup winners

You are in: Suffolk > History > 1978 FA Cup winners > Ipswich's 1978 FA Cup story in video

Paul Mariner and Malcolm Macdonald at Wembley

Paul Mariner and Malcolm Macdonald

Ipswich's 1978 FA Cup story in video

With long lost, and in some cases never seen before, interviews and footage, we present the story of Ipswich Town's 1978 FA Cup campaign in video.

To mark the 30th anniversary of Ipswich Town winning the FA Cup we've delved deep into the BBC archive and pulled out all the footage relating to the 1978 campaign.

We unearthed interviews with players and manager Bobby Robson, footage of the team training, coverage of fans gearing up for Wembley - a whole host of content which hasn't seen the light of day for three decades.

Our aim is to present as much of this as possible. As a result, we've left pieces in where no sound is present, or where the picture jumps slightly. We've added the odd caption in places to describe what the footage relates to.

Match footage is unavailable due to rights issues.

Cardiff 0-2 Ipswich. FA Cup third round, Saturday 7 January 1978

Ipswich started their campaign with a trip to Wales. A brace from Paul Mariner secured the visitors' passage into the fourth round, but the pre-match attention focused on Mick Mills.

Mick Mills is given a cake to mark his 494th match

The captain was making his 494th appearance for Ipswich, a club record, and told BBC reporter John Myatt ahead of the match about his desire to be called "a winner".

Winning had been a bit of a problem for Ipswich. They'd been knocked out of the League Cup and the UEFA Cup, by Manchester City and Barcelona respectively, and a bad Christmas period had made relegation to Division Two a realistic prospect.

With this in mind, Bobby Robson labelled the clash with Cardiff "the most important match the club is going to play this season".

Ipswich 4-1 Hartlepool United. FA Cup fourth round, Saturday 28 January 1978

The fourth round tie was kind to Ipswich, who welcomed Fourth Division Hartlepool United to Portman Road.

There was a brief scare when Hartlepool's Derrick Downing closed the gap provided by Colin Viljoen's penalty and Paul Mariner's volley. But Town ended up comfortable winners, with second half goals from Brian Talbot and another from Viljoen.

Bobby Robson was pleased with the victory and told John Myatt he was looking forward to a nice weekend.

Ipswich 3-0 Bristol Rovers. FA Cup fifth round replay, Tuesday 28 February 1978

Ten days earlier Ipswich had battled out a 2-2 draw in freezing conditions at Eastville. Many were surprised that the match was given the green light and Town were in real danger of going out of the competition.

Four minutes from time Robin Turner grabbed his second goal of the match to take the tie back to Portman Road.

There were no such worries in the replay. Mick Mills and Paul Mariner were on the scoresheet before Clive Woods shimmied his way through the Rovers defence and fired home from 25 yards.

Mick Mills spoke to John Myatt after the replay. The audio carries on without video at one point, and we're not sure what he keeps looking at to the side of the camera.

Millwall 1-6 Ipswich. FA Cup sixth round, Saturday 11 March 1978

Paul Mariner got a hat-trick and Ipswich scored three goals in as many minutes. But those Ipswich fans who attended The Den are more likely to remember the events off the pitch.

The day started badly when coaches ferrying visiting fans to the ground were attacked by Millwall fans throwing stones.

Police stand by a coffin at Millwall's Den, 1978

A coffin from the pre-match show

The violent scenes were repeated once the match was underway, after Ipswich were 1-0 up. Players were ordered off the pitch and play was suspended for just under 20 minutes - with the referee promising that the match would be finished on that day.

Fears of crowd violence had been expressed before the game so it was bizarre that the pre-match entertainment consisted of a mock wild west shoot out.

But manager Bobby Robson was quoted calling for much stronger weaponry in his post match comments - suggesting that flame throwers should be used to control the hooligans who were bringing the game into disrepute.

Once the dust had settled, however, Robson admitted that his comments were perhaps a bit too harsh.

Ipswich 3-1 West Bromwich Albion. FA Cup semi final, Saturday 8 April 1978

Three years earlier Ipswich reached the FA Cup semi final but suffered heartbreak after losing at the second attempt to West Ham United.

Speaking to John Myatt ahead of the 1978 clash, Bobby Robson was confident this experience would help his Ipswich side reach Wembley. And so it was.

Brian Talbot gave Town the lead at Highbury with a brave diving header which proved to be the midfielder's last touch of the game - a nasty clash of heads with Albion's John Wile sidelined both players, with Talbot not returning to the action.

Mick Mills

Mick Mills, 1978

Mick Mills made it 2-0 at half time but Robson's men were made to sweat when Tony Brown converted a penalty with 15 minutes remaining.

It was Ipswich who scored again, though - John Wark heading home in the dying minutes.

The BBC chatted to Bobby Robson, Mick Mills and Paul Mariner ahead of the semi final and all seemed confident of overcoming West Brom. The players were just getting used to an increased media presence after long being deemed underdogs.

After the game, John Myatt had a long chat with Robson and asked if he had sympathy for the defeated Baggies and whether the victory was a reward for staying loyal to Ipswich.

* You may notice Mick Mills' speech about wishing to appear in the final is missing a bit at the beginning - sadly this is all we have of it.

Arsenal 0-1 Ipswich. FA Cup Final, Saturday 6 May 1978

A 6-1 league defeat at Aston Villa probably wasn't the best way to prepare for Ipswich's first FA Cup Final. But either way this result was soon forgotten about as Town met up at their "luxury hotel near St Albans" to prepare for Wembley.

Meanwhile, Paul Mariner and Arsenal's overly confident striker Malcolm Macdonald were having an early walk on the playing surface in London. John Myatt got their opinions on the upcoming final as well as their campaigns so far.

Whilst the players were gearing up for the big match, cup fever hit fans back in Ipswich.

Boy with blue and white dyed hair

A young, affable and tired ITFC punk

One hairdresser carried away with the festivities offered free hair colouring for those wanting to show their support.

Reporter Tony Scase and the BBC cameras were present as salon director Mr Peter got to work on Diane Allen from Saxmundham and an unnamed but very entertaining young punk.

On Saturday 6 May 1978 100,000 fans of Arsenal and Ipswich Town travelled to Wembley Stadium to watch the FA Cup Final.

Roger Osborne scores in the 1978 FA Cup Final

Osborne, 1-0!

Bobby Robson's side were labelled the underdogs but it was Ipswich who had the lion's share of possession. Paul Mariner hit the bar early on and John Wark twice struck the post in the second half.

But just as the fans from Suffolk were starting to think it wasn't their day, local boy Roger Osborne pounced on a half clearance and fired home the winner on 78 minutes.

Match highlights are only available for those with broadband connections and in the UK.

With the cup in their hands, Ipswich's jubilant players followed Bobby Robson back down the Wembley tunnel where they were met by BBC reporter Barry Davies.

Roger Osborne with Barry Davies

Milk? It's what Roger Osborne drinks

In contrast to many of today's football interviews, where players' media training often results in bland exchanges with the journalists, Ipswich's players gather one by one to give an honest account of the match.

Milk bottle in hand, Roger Osborne explains why he left the pitch whilst a nonchalant Kevin Beattie says Town should have scored five.

Doing it for the fans

Saturday's trip to Wembley and Sunday's victory parade back in Ipswich are still vivid memories for anyone who was there.

We've unearthed a Look East film which features fans heading to Wembley, watching on TV back in Suffolk, waving to the team as their headed back up the A12 and the packed Cornhill (remember the bus shelters?) where people were hanging off every available building.

Mick Lambert's testimonial. Monday 8 May 1978

Having been at the club for over 10 years, 1978 was to be Mick Lambert's testimonial year. The date of Monday 8 May had been set long before the outcome of Ipswich's FA Cup run was known.

Mick Lambert scores a penalty at Portman Road

BBC Radio Suffolk's Bryan Knights was on the organising committee for Lambert's testimonial and can remember several of the fundraising schemes.

Bryan and Lambert would spend Monday evenings travelling around the pubs of Ipswich, dropping off and replenishing jars of raffle tickets. The top prize for the draw was 50 and the uptake in support was so good that around 1000 was raised by each pub.

As for the match itself Bryan acknowledges that the timing of the testimonial, just two days after the cup final, meant the crowd was twice the size of what it would have been.

Pride of Anglia says the attendance was 16847 and the score was 6-5 to the cup winners. Bryan can't recall who made up the losing side, but says a couple of internationals were called in at the last minute.

The match also gave Ipswich's still jubilant players the chance to parade the FA Cup around their home ground, and from the match footage we have available it looks like the party mood was carried on to the pitch - with two unconventional penalties captured on film (sadly without sound).

It was a good way to end an extraordinary season.

last updated: 19/05/2008 at 15:16
created: 20/02/2008

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