Saturday 20 July 2019

Ipswich boss Paul Lambert pays for fans’ travel to Blackburn defeat

“Words can’t describe this gesture,” said one fan of the move.

Paul Lambert made a kind gesture to Ipswich fans on Saturday (John Walton/PA)
Paul Lambert made a kind gesture to Ipswich fans on Saturday (John Walton/PA)

By Edd Dracott, Press Association

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert paid for around 50 of the club’s fans to travel to their away game at Blackburn.

The 49-year-old paid the £37 tickets, amounting to around £1,800, out of his own pocket as a way of “saying thanks” for the support he has received from fans.

The reimbursement, offered before the journey to the game, was accompanied by an individual note signed by Lambert on each of the fans’ coach seats.

“On a personal note, I really appreciated the support I have received from the supporters,” the note reads. “And this is my way of saying thanks to people like you who travel all over the country to support this club.”

Ipswich are bottom of the Championship and suffered a 2-0 defeat at Ewood Park, but the gesture was well received by fans.

“We follow our club no matter what, so for a manager to pay out of his own pocket for one of our trips is just amazing,” Nikki Sapsed, one of the travelling Ipswich fans, told the Press Association. “Words can’t describe this gesture.”

The 24-year-old posted a photo of Lambert’s note to Twitter, where fellow fans praised Lambert as “a true gent” and “the gift that just keeps on giving” in response.

The Scottish manager told BBC Radio Suffolk: “It’s not a PR stunt – if it was, I would have done it at every club I’ve been at and I’d be skint!”

Lambert joined Ipswich in October, replacing Paul Hurst, with the club already at the foot of the Championship table.

He has since lost nine of his 14 games in charge, but cut the gap to safety to seven points, and recently said he would remain with the club even if they are relegated.

“The position we are in currently is unfortunate, but fans are backing Lambert all the way,” said Ms Sapsed. “He’s taken time out to meet fans and he makes us feel like we are a part of the club.

“When it was announced that Lambert will be staying no matter what happens, the general reaction to this was positive.

“It shows that he’s here for all the right reasons and will help our club fight through this tough patch and stand by us.”

PA Media

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