East Anglian derby

East Anglian derby

Rivalry between Norwich City FC and Ipswich Town FC

The East Anglian derby is a term used to describe football matches held between Norwich City and Ipswich Town, the only fully professional football clubs in the neighbouring East Anglian counties of Norfolk and Suffolk respectively. In recent years it has sometimes been humorously called the Old Farm derby,[1] a reference to the Old Firm derby played between rival Glasgow clubs Celtic and Rangers,[2] and to the prominence of agriculture in East Anglia. The derby has been described as one of the best derbies in the UK.[3][4]

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Including friendly meetings, there have been 152 instances of the derby overall, with both teams winning 60 times. In competitive meetings, the balance tips towards Norwich, having won 48 to Ipswich's 45. The series began in the early 20th century, when both clubs were amateur organisations, with the first derby between the two professional clubs taking place in 1939. The most recent derby was played on 6 April 2024 at Carrow Road, which ended in a 1-0 win for Norwich. It has been 15 years since Ipswich won the derby: their last win was on 19 April 2009, a 3–2 at Portman Road, and they have not won at Carrow Road since 5 February 2006.[5]

Winning the derby is one measure used to determine which club from the region can declare itself the "Pride of Anglia".

Style and atmosphere

According to the Football Rivalries Report 2008, the East Anglian derby is the second-fiercest rivalry in England, after the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.[3][4] The report stated, "The gap of 40 miles doesn't make those East Anglia 'Old Farm' derbies any less intense, and this, combined with the regularity and closeness of the games, and the recent fortunes of both clubs, put it ahead of all but one rivalry in League football."[4]

Former referee Keith Hackett said of the East Anglian derby:

"As for the most aggressive atmosphere that I've ever encountered, believe it or not it was at Carrow Road for Norwich v Ipswich Town. There are certain derby fixtures that you always know are going to be highly charged, but the East Anglian derby tops the lot. The players came out of the tunnel as if they were ready for a boxing match. The noise was intense and aggressive."[6]

Rob Hadgraft, who wrote The Old Farm, suggested some reasons for the intensity of the rivalry: "I think it's because each club represents the entire county ... There's only one club in Norfolk, and the same goes for Suffolk ... The people live up to 40 miles apart, so they don't mingle and have pals who support the other lot ... you've got two sets of fans who never really mingle or mix, and there's no proper friendships. They really do despise each other."[2]


Portman Road

The first derby was held between the two clubs on 15 November 1902, when both sides were still playing at an amateur level. The Norfolk & Suffolk League fixture was played in Norwich and finished 1–0 to Norwich City. Norwich turned professional in 1905 with Ipswich following in 1936. Ipswich Town was elected to the Football League in 1938, and the first fully professional league game between the two clubs took place on 2 September 1939 in the Third Division South. Played at Portman Road, the match finished 1–1, although the league was abandoned a few days later following the outbreak of the Second World War.

Carrow Road

As the clubs have tended to play in the same division over the years, the derby has been contested in most seasons since this time, the longest gap being for a period of six seasons between 1986–87 and 1991–92 inclusive.[7] Following Norwich's promotion to the Premier League and Ipswich's relegation to League One at the end of the 2018–19 season the two teams were at least a division apart until Ipswich's promotion to the Championship at the end of the 2022–23 season, with the fixture on 16 December 2023 the first time the derby had been contested since February 2019.

Two of the more notable meetings between the two clubs have come in cup competitions. In the 1972–73 season Ipswich beat Norwich 4–2 on aggregate to win the two-legged Texaco Cup, with 2–1 wins in both legs.[8] In 1985 the clubs met in the semi-final of the League Cup, with a place in the Wembley final at stake. Ipswich won the first leg 1–0 at Portman Road, but Norwich scored early in the return leg at Carrow Road to level the tie. With extra-time looming, Steve Bruce scored a late winner to send Norwich to Wembley.[9]

In the 2014–15 season there were four East Anglian derbies, because the sides met in a two legged Championship play-off semi-final in addition to the regular two league games played during the season. The first match of the season was held at Portman Road on 23 August; it finished with Norwich winning 1–0. The reverse fixture at Carrow Road was on 1 March and Norwich again won, this time 2–0.[10] The two play-off ties were held on 9 and 16 May, the first at Ipswich. The first leg finished 1–1, and the second leg finished with Norwich taking their third derby victory of the season by winning 3–1 and therefore booking their place in the play-off final at Wembley.[11]

Derby overview

An overview of derby games, as of 6th April 2024, is shown below.[12]

More information Simplified statistics of matches, Competition ...

All time series

Competitive matches

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Other matches (non-competitive)

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The derby has been contested 120 times in competitive games, 61 of which have been played at Ipswich and 59 at Norwich. In these, Norwich have won 48 times and Ipswich 45, with 23 matches ending as draws. The clubs have also played each other in friendlies and testimonial matches. In total, including friendly matches, the derby has been contested 153 times, with both Ipswich and Norwich having 60 victories, with 32 matches finishing as draws. The highest attendance in the derby at Portman Road is 35,077 for a First Division match in September 1975, while Carrow Road hosted 39,890 spectators for an FA Cup match in January 1962. John Wark is Ipswich's leading goalscorer in the derby with nine goals,[13] while Hugh Curran remains Norwich's top scorer with five, a record that has stood since 1968.[14]

The most goals scored by a team in a derby match is six, with Norwich scoring six goals in a match during the 1903–04 season. Five goals have been scored by one team on five occasions – Ipswich in 1946–47, 1947–48, 1976–77 and 1997–98, and Norwich in 2010–11. The highest aggregate score in a match is seven goals, Norwich winning 6–1 away at Ipswich in the Norfolk and Suffolk league in 1903–04, and Ipswich winning 4–3 in a Second Division match at Carrow Road in 1968–69. At least six players have scored hat-tricks in derby matches – Hugh Curran in 1968–69 and Grant Holt in 2010–11 for Norwich,[14] and Albert Day in 1946–47,[15] Colin Viljoen in 1967–68,[16] Trevor Whymark in 1976–77,[16] and Alex Mathie in 1997–98 for Ipswich.[17]

More information Competition breakdown of stats for competitive matches, League ...

See also


  1. Stevenson, Jonathan (19 April 2009). "Live – Premier League & FA Cup". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  2. Haugh, Richard (15 May 2015). "Norwich v Ipswich: Play-off clash reignites old rivalry". BBC News. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  3. "Anglian derby England's second greatest rivalry". East Anglian Daily Times. 3 March 2008. Archived from the original on 18 January 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  4. "Football Rivalries Report 2008". Archived from the original on 5 March 2008.
  5. "The World's Top 10 greatest football stadiums". You Are the Ref. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  6. "East Anglian Derby". Ipswich Town Football Club. Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  7. Norwich Milk Cup special: Day 3, Norwich Evening News, 24 March 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  8. "Norwich City results". Sky Sports. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  9. Doyle, Paul (16 May 2015). "Cameron Jerome seals Wembley final for Norwich City as 10-man Ipswich are tamed". The Observer. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  10. "Head to head Norwich vs. Ipswich". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  11. "Head to Head since 1878". Pride of Anglia. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2008.
  12. Bailey, Michael (30 November 2010). "Hugh Curran: Grant Holt won't forget Norwich City derby hat-trick". Norwich Evening News. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  13. "Ipswich Town (1) 5–0 (0) Norwich City". Pride of Anglia. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  14. "The 10 best and worst East Anglian derby matches for Norwich City fans". Norwich Evening News. Archant. 24 February 2015. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  15. Mathie tips Ipswich for derby win, BBC sport, 5 December 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2011.

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