Derby day tension builds as Norwich and Ipswich legends describe local rivalry for documentary

Iwan Roberts celebrates the first of his two goals in Norwich City's 2-0 win at Portman Road in March 200. Picture: Archant library

Iwan Roberts celebrates the first of his two goals in Norwich City's 2-0 win at Portman Road in March 200. Picture: Archant library

Archant

The East Anglian Derby banter has already begun, with former players on both sides of the border looking back on some of their best and worst memories.

The rivalry is explained to the nation tomorrow night when Sky Sports screen a documentary featuring interviews with former players and footage of classic games.

Among the many stories is Iwan Roberts’ derby day brace as City won 2-0 at Portman Road in Division One in March 2000.

“I probably enjoyed playing down there at Portman Road more than I enjoyed playing here because I used to enjoy putting one up on them on their own patch in front of their own fans,” Roberts says.

“We always used to take three and half thousand fans there and it was probably the only game of the season that they filled the stadium up – I’m only joking!”

MORE: The Norwich City debate – The only place to start your Ipswich Town derby build up

Of course not all the memories are good, with City’s legendary goalkeeper Bryan Gunn describing that fateful air-kick in a 2-1 loss at Portman Road in 1996.

“To be fair I don’t actually blame Robbie Ullathorne for that goal, I blame Mike Milligan!” Gunn recalls. “Because if you watch in the build-up he passes the ball back to Robbie Ullathorne, who can only pass it back to me.

“I came out and met it roundabout the penalty spot and had an almighty swing at it, unfortunately it’s hit a bobble and gone past me at knee height and bobbled it’s way into the net.

“I was at a golf day in Norwich the other day and somebody brought it up! I played 477 games for Norwich and this game seems to be the one that everyone always mentions.”

MORE: ‘We are a better club than them’ – City striker kicks off salvos ahead of derby day

Town legend John Wark enjoyed plenty of derby highs and lows during his 16 years with the Blues, getting sent off as City won 3-0 at Carrow Road in March 1995.

“Probably the worst time was 1994-95, we played Norwich at Portman Road, they had a good team at the time,” Wark admits. “They had young Darren Eadie – Who I think was about 15 at the time and I was about 37, so he was slightly faster than me!

“So I actually tried to get him in the first half and I was that late that I got him in the second.”

• The documentary is being shown on Sky Sports Football at 7.30pm on Tuesday night and will be repeated throughout the week ahead of Sunday’s game, which is also being shown live by Sky. Watch a clip from the documentary above.

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