Ross Halls is my favourite Ipswich Town, XI:

This is proving to be very successful as MIKE BACON continues his conversation with Town fans, both young-old and old, about their favorite Ipswich Town XI. ROSS HALLS is a photographer and videographer. He shares his favorite side as a Town enthusiast, which is from the past twenty-five years.

Bartosz Bialkowski from Ipswich Town is such a beloved ‘keeper.

Credit: PA


Goalkeepers have always been a favorite of mine.

Unfortunately, Portman Road has not had some of its best-ever performers in the past decade. Christian Walton is however doing a great job. But my favourite is the man with the beard, the Polish international, Bartosz Białkowski, who of course went to the World Cup. He was on loan at Town in 2009, but he didn’He didn’t play. Then, he was brought in as a back-up to Dean Gerken, before finally getting his chance at No.1. It was amazing. You can see some amazing saves in his reel. He is also a great character.

Fabian Wilnis, Ipswich Town’s Fabian Wilnis and Mark McCammon of Millwall take a tumble. Wilnis was a loyal Town ace who was popular.

Credit: PA


He was a great person. Solid right-back.

He was part the team that won promotion into the Premiership. Because he had been there so many years, it isn’t something that you get very often these day. Fabian had many managers at Town, but he was still chosen often. He was a forward-thinking, goal-scoring player. We all remember the goals against Manchester United and Norwich. He was a Town footballer more than 300 times.

 Ipswich Town's Jason De Vos (L) challenges Reading's Leroy Litaduring the Coca-Cola Championship m

Jason De Vos of Ipswich Town challenges Leroy Lita, from Reading. De Vos was an outstanding player.

Credit: PA

Centre-half JASON DE VOS

As a child, Ipswich Town was my first official Captain. I loved supporting the Town.

He was a great signing. Jason was released by Wigan. He won so many heads and could score from set pieces. This is something that we couldn’t do today with our defenders. Named in Town’s Hall of Fame. Ipswich has strong ties with Canadians like Craig Forrest or Frank Yallop. De Vos was my favorite.

Christophe Berra, Ipswich Town

Christophe Berra. Mick McCarthy was also linked up.

Credit: PA


Free signing by an agent

Mick McCarthy was in Ipswich, where also he was a Wolves player. He was also an excellent addition to the team. He is now back together again with Mick McCarthy. He was the Supporters Player of The Year in his first season. Although he was not the fastest, he was able to read the game so well that set pieces were scored again. Although he was sent off in play-off semi-final against Norwich, some fans don’t remember, I think that’s a little unfair. He was a great character.

Referee Lee Probert tells Ipswich Town's Gareth McAuley to leave the pitch due to a cut on the head

Referee Lee Probert tells Gareth McAuley from Ipswich Town that he has a cut on the top of his head and he must leave the pitch. McAuley received a free transfer from Ipswich Town to West Brom, where they played seven years in Premier League.

Credit: PA

GARETH McAULEY, centre-half

Despite his rough start in Town Gareth was a great person.

He was a leader on and off the pitch and a great player. He scored from set-pieces again, just like my three centre halves. Unfortunately, he was released on a gratuity, which I couldn’t do at the time and can’t even understand today. He then played seven seasons in West Brom’s Premier League. In recognition of his contributions to football in Northern Ireland, Gareth was given an MBE in the 2019 New Year Honours. Tremendous.


This guy is simply a fantastic footballer.

One of the few good things Paul Jewell did at Town was sign Aaron from Tranmere. He had a great first season and was even linked to a Premier League team. He stayed on and continued to play for us. He was a lefty with a left foot. He was always aiming for the Premier League, but not with me. He scored from set-pieces, and took set-pieces. He went to West Ham and hasn’t looked back.


Giovani Dos Santos scores for the Blues… Eight appearances, four goals.

Credit: Archant

Right-midfield: GIOVANI DOS SANTOS

He had such an immediate impact.

Eight games, four goal, eight games. The Mexican did incredible things. We signed him as a loanee from Spurs, and I’m still stunned that this deal happened. His touch, movement and goals are what impressed me the most. We beat Norwich last year. Some of his pitch skills, such as “Wow!” I was stunned. Mexican international. I was a young fan of him at the time, and was captivated.

Owen Garvan, Ipswich Town

Owen Garvan, Ipswich Town

Credit: PA

Centre-midfield OWEN GARVAN

He was able move the ball around the pitch.

He was a very laid back character, which is a big contrast. In the way he looked at the pitch, he reminded of a young Steven Gerrard. Owen made an immediate impression. He was part of the FA Youth Cup-winning 2005 squad, and then he became a bit like Jim Magilton’s right-hand man. He played more than 150 games for Town, but his career there was not what we had hoped. He was a Palace player in the Premier League.

TOMMY MILLER – Centre-midfield

What a man! Goalscoring midfielder, penalty-king.

Tommy was so great with Darren Bent & Shefki Kunqi. It was my first season of Town watching, week in week out. Tommy’s celebrations were what really stood out for me. He had two celebrations. One was with his snooker snooker cue. He would use his corner flag to serve as the cue. He would also do press ups with Shefki. So much fun. As I mentioned, a box -to-box midfielder who scored goal. We have been missing something for a while.


Darren Currie, in the orange shirt, is a great winger for Town.

Credit: Archant

Left-midfield, DARREN CURRIE

I doubt that many will include Darren in their XI.

Although it is a winger it is not very fast. I loved him, and he was a good friend. David Beckham was our favorite, with his beautiful looks as well as scoring from set pieces. Excellent ball player, excellent ball crosser of the ball. I loved the fact that his No.10 shirt was on him and that he had tattoos all over. I’ve had the chance to speak with him a few times. He’s a great person. He was also part a Town team which won back-to-back play-offs in the hands of Joe Royle.

Ipswich Town's Daryl Murphy celebrates after scoring his sides second goal of the game during the Sk

Daryl Murphy, Ipswich Town’s goalkeeper, celebrates scoring the second goal of his team’s Championship match at Nottingham’s City Ground. He had an amazing 2014/15 season.

Credit: PA


Two men are better than one, but this man can handle the job on his own.

Daryl was on three loan spells before he signed permanently with Town. He scored just 23 seconds into his Town debut against Middlesbrough. I don’t think he did any favors by playing on the left-wing during his first two spells. Let’s not forget the 2014/15 season, when he made all the headlines. 27 goals, right-foot, left-foot, headers. He almost got us into Premier League. Some of his goals are my favorite. He scored some incredible goals that season. I don’t think there’s been a target man like him since.

Substitutes: None! This is my XI. He will see this game through.

Ipswich Town Manager Joe Royle after his teams win against Millwall for their Coca-Cola Championship

Joe Royle, Ipswich Town boss, enjoyed good times with Town.

Credit: PA

Manager: JOE ROYLE

Joe, you are a great goal-scorer.

He did an outstanding job with very limited money. After the sale of so many players, he brought in his own players. Missed out on the play-offs twice, a  great manager for us. He signed Darren Currie, for a start. He is a very kind man. It was an absolute joy to see those two seasons of backward play-offs. There were so many great games. He did an outstanding job for us. I was only in my 20s so I didn’t have many options for managers to choose from. I hope Kieran Mckenna will be my main man throughout the years.

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