Suffolk

Ipswich Town Drum and Monkey painting could be auctioned

Drum and Monkey Ipswich Town sign
Image caption The poster is signed by about 15 ex-players

A large Ipswich Town painting, signed by a number of ex-players, could be auctioned for charity.

It once hung in the Drum & Monkey pub and has been signed by names including Kevin Beattie and Russell Osman.

CDC Ltd, which is knocking down the pub, found it in the cellar and is keeping hold of it at its offices.

Both the artist who painted the sign and the former pub landlord who commissioned the work said it would be nice to use it to raise charity funds.

Image caption Some of the signatures are legible, such as Russell Osman's...
Image caption ...some as less so

Robbie Williams, who used to run the pub near Ipswich's Portman Road ground and is now at Bears in the town, said it was "more of a sentimental piece".

CDC, which has the sign at its offices in Kesgrave, said it would explore the option of a charity raffle or auction, agreeing it would be a good thing to do.

The Drum and Monkey, on Princes Street, was a matchday haunt for fans, but it closed in 2016 and is being knocked down to make way for more car parking spaces.

Image caption Demolition of the Drum & Monkey is nearing completion

'Way to go'

The sign advertises an online fan forum, but attempts by the BBC to contact those behind the site have proved unsuccessful.

Joshua Lennard-Jones said he designed the sign as part of a competition through the forum in 2008 when he was 14.

It was then painted by artist Keith Fraser.

Image caption CDC is looking after the painted sign, which is about 6ft x 4ft (1.8m x 1.2m), at its offices in Kesgrave near Ipswich

The painting has been signed by about 15 ex-players, also including Alan Lee, Danny Haynes and Mauricio Taricco, as well as many others, some of whose writing is difficult to decipher.

Mr Fraser, who usually paints hanging pub signs including The Salutation and Isaacs in Ipswich, said it would be good for it to raise money for a worthy cause.

Mr Lennard-Jones agreed a charity auction "sounds like the way to go".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The pub in 2015, with the football ground behind it on Portman Road

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