First written in 2009 and published on the now defunct Suffolk Sports Forum
I decided to conduct some research on the legendary Boxing Day clash, which is frequently mentioned by supporters of the top two clubs in East Anglia.
Hark now hear the Ipswich sing
Norwich ran away
and we will fight for evermore
because of Boxing day
Despite not playing each other on St Stephens day since 1980, the infamous ditty about the Ipswich and Norwich rivalry continues to echo through Portman Road and Carrow Road. It’s been 29 years since the last Boxing day fixture, and yet the fans still sing it.
Some may question the laziness or idiocy behind this persistence, but perhaps there’s something deeper driving this tradition. Upon closer examination, it turns out that the Boxing day fixture has only occurred 7 times in total. The first game took place in 1951 with City winning 2-0 at Portman Road. It wasn’t until 9 years later that the next fixture took place, with Town winning 3-0 at Carrow Road in the old division 2.
From there, we jump to the 73/74 season where NCFC hosted and lost 2-1, followed by a 1-0 win for the Canaries in 77/78. The first Boxing day draw occurred in 78/79 at Portman Road, and a sell-out crowd witnessed a 3-3 draw at Carrow Road the following year. The last ever Boxing day fixture took place on December 26th, 1980 with ITFC winning a home tie 2-0.