On this day in Ipswich Town’s history: bright start to life in the new Premier League
PUBLISHED: 05:59 05 September 2020
In this daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history, selecting one particular year, this time from 28 years ago when Town took part in the inaugural Premier League campaign
Ipswich Town, under John Lyall, proved a very hard team to beat during the opening weeks of the brand-new Premier League, in the autumn of 1992, at the dawn of a new era in English football.
Promoted from the second tier the previous season, Town soon silenced their doubters with a terrific start which saw them go unbeaten for their first eight matches.
Six of these first eight were drawn, including a goalless draw away at Queens Park Rangers exactly 28 years ago, on September 5, 1992.
It was Town’s second clean-sheet in the Premier League, following a 1-0 success at Wimbledon on their first away-day, achieved via Gavin Johnson’s goal.
The squad continued to over-achieve, with John Wark as captain, boosted by a good flow of goals from Chris Kiwomya (10 league goals), and helped by a fine summer signing in defensive midfielder Geraint Williams, who had been bought from Derby County for £650,000.
The season was typified by the performances of a tigerish Mick Stockwell, who was to be crowned Town’s Player of the Year.
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Lyall’s side were still flying high going into the new year, positioned in the top five for the start of January, 1993, although they did slide down the table during the second half of the campaign to eventually finish in 16th spot,
That was four places and three points clear of the drop. The trio of Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace were the first three teams to be relegated from the Premier League.
As for QPR, they had a terrific season themselves under manager Gerry Francis.
Although held to a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road by Town, they only lost one of their first 11 matches and maintained their high standards to finish in fifth spot.
This gave them the satisfaction of finishing the top London club in the country, above the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea, aided in no small measure by an on-fire Les Ferdinand, who plundered 24 goals, 20 of them in the Premier League.
That QPR squad included such familiar names as Ray Wilkins, Andy Impey, David Bardsley and Ian Holloway among its ranks.
Manchester United went on to win the first Premier League title, their first top-flight crown in 26 years. Norwich City finished third, although their title aspirations were finally killed off by Ipswich’s 3-1 win in the East Anglian derby.
QPR hot-shot Ferdinand, despite his impressive 20 goals, was eclipsed by Teddy Sheringham, who finished the Premier League’s top scorer with 22 goals, 21 of them for Tottenham and one for his former club Forest.