Skip to main content Skip to site footer


17 April 2014

Legendary Blues boss comes out on top in Football League vote, with Mick Mills named as best ever skipper

Sir Bobby Robson has been voted as Ipswich Town’s greatest manager by the club’s fans in a poll conducted as part of The Football League's 125th Anniversary celebrations.

Having taken charge of Ipswich in January 1969 with the club in their first season back in the First Division,  Sir Bobby kept them up comfortably and stabilised them for a few seasons before success came back to a club that had been Football League champions in 1962.

In five seasons from 1972/73, Ipswich didn’t finish below sixth in the table and they also had three runs in the UEFA Cup before reaching the FA Cup Final for the first time in 1978 – and winning it at Wembley by beating Arsenal.

Sir Bobby then guided Ipswich to the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and further qualification for the UEFA Cup, which they won in 1981 by beating Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the final. That season also saw them finish as runners-up in the First Division for the first of two successive years.

A massive 84% of fans voted for Sir Bobby, who left Ipswich in 1982 for the England job, as the club’s greatest manager, ahead of Sir Alf Ramsey (10%) and George Burley (6%).

The captain for that glorious period was Mick Mills, who was handed the armband by Sir Bobby in 1971 and lifted the FA Cup and UEFA Cup, along with the 1973 Texaco Cup, during an Ipswich career that spanned 740 appearances over 17 years. He took 65% of the vote as the greatest skipper, ahead of Matt Holland (31%) and Jason De Vos (4%).

The honours list of second in the First Division, semi-finalists in the FA Cup and winners of the UEFA Cup saw 1980/81 voted as the club’s greatest season on 60%, ahead of 1977/78 and 1961/62.

Sir Bobby sits alongside other legends of the game including Brian Clough, Sir Tom Finney, Billy Wright, Sir Stanley Matthews, Trevor Francis, Billy Bremner and Herbert Chapman who have all been named in a list of the greatest contributors to clubs’ league history in a vote as part of The Football League’s 125th Anniversary celebrations.

The names feature in lists for each of the current 72 Football League clubs’ greatest in various categories including managers, players, captains, fan favourites, matches and seasons.  The polls were run by The Football League to celebrate each club’s own contribution to the last 125 years of league football.  The results have been announced on the anniversary of The Football League’s formation on 17th April 1888 to bring down the curtain on a year of activity celebrating the start of the world’s original league football competition.

Nearly 100,000 votes were cast in the polls after clubs were first invited to compile their own shortlist for each category based on fans’ nominations via social media.

A list of the winners in each category can be seen at, and a club-by-club breakdown for each vote with more detail on the winners can be seen at

Supporters can find out more about The Football League’s 125th Anniversary at Fans also still have a chance to visit a special exhibition called ‘Game Changers’ at the National Football Museum in Manchester celebrating 125 years of The Football League, with contributions from every club. The exhibition is free to enter and open 7 days a week – for more details visit

Advertisement block