On this day in Town’s history: Former Blues boss Royle turns 71

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 April 2020

Joe Royle took charge of the Blues from 2002 to 2006

Joe Royle took charge of the Blues from 2002 to 2006

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history, selecting one particular year. It’s a bit different today, because we celebrate the 71st birthday of former Town manager Joe Royle.

Royle was appointed Ipswich Town manager in October 2002Royle was appointed Ipswich Town manager in October 2002

Royle, born in 1949, was appointed manager in October 2002, suceeding George Burley and taking over a side 17th in the second tier,

His first game in charge of Ipswich Town saw him tasked with defending a proud 30-game unbeaten home record in European competition and he managed to lead his side to a 1-0 victory over Czech side Slovan Liberec at Portman Road, thanks to a goal from Darren Bent.

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He took charge of his first game against Slovan Liberec in the UEFA CupHe took charge of his first game against Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Cup

In January 2003 the club entered administration, which led to the exit of several leading players and a restriction of transfer and wage funds, but that didn’t stop Royle twice leading the Blues to the play-offs, in 2004 and 2005, but they lost on both occasions to West Ham United.

Ipswich finished 15th in the 2005–06 season, their lowest finish since 1966, after which Royle left the club by ‘mutual consent’ in the close season.

In all, he took charge of 189 games for the Blues, winning 81, drawing 48 and losing 60, with a win percentage of 43%.

He was named Coca-Cola Manager of the Month in November 2004He was named Coca-Cola Manager of the Month in November 2004

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One of the game’s noted firefighters, Royle also managed Oldham Athletic, Everton and Manchester City, winning the FA Cup with Everton in 1995 and enjoying promotion to the top division with both Oldham and City.

He is currently a director at Wigan Athletic, alongside his son Darren, a role he has held since 2018.

He twice led the Blues to the play-offsHe twice led the Blues to the play-offs

We wish him a very happy birthday!

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