John (Johnny) Cavendish COBBOLD

Born1927
Died1983
FatherCol. John Murray (Ivan) COBBOLD DL JP (1897 – 1944)
MotherLady Blanche Katharine CAVENDISH JP (1898 – 1987)
Occupation9th generation Brewer. Chairman of Ipswich Town Football Club.

Biography and Notes

Both boys went to Wellesley House and on to Eton. Johnny was just 17 and Patrick 10 when their father was killed in 1944. Johnny saw service in Palestine with the Welsh Guards and Patrick did National Service and signed on for an extra 2 years with his father's Scots Guards. He was accidentally shot in the leg by one of his soldiers during training but went on to be ADC to the Governor of The Bahamas.

By the time Johnny celebrated his 21st birthday in 1948 he had become a director of ITFC and was the youngest director in the football league. He fought 3 elections as a Conservative candidate in the 1950s with much admired pluck and enthusiasm but without success. In 1955 he appointed Alf (later Sir Alf) Ramsey as manager at Ipswich in succession to Scott Duncan and he took the club from 3rd division (S) to 1st division champions in 1961/62 before being appointed to manage the England side in 1963. His statue was unveiled at Portman Road in August 2000 following his death the previous year.

1957 saw Johnny become Chairman of the club and Chairman of the Brewery which successfully merged with Tolly that year. Bobby (later Sir Bobby) Robson came to manage Ipswich in 1969 and his hard and loyal work was rewarded with the FA Cup win in 1978 (100 years after the founding of the amateur club) followed by the UEFA Cup in 1981 and 2 Youth Club wins. Bobby Robson loved Ipswich and after a bumpy start Ipswich loved Bobby. The only thing that could have prized him away happened and for the second time the club lost it's manager to the England job.

Sadly Johnny had developed cancer and stood down as Chairman in 1976 in favour of Patrick. Their mother Lady Blanche, ever supportive, was the Club President. Johnny died in 1983, the Tolly Cobbold brewery having been sold in 1977 to Ellerman Lines for amalgamation with J W Cameron of Hatlepool. Patrick and other family members stayed at their posts but Ellerman's shipping losses proved too strong and the business was acquired by the Barclay Brothers who sold it on to Brent Walker's Grand Metropolitan Group. Patrick and Lord Tollemache departed sadly bringing to an end the family's involvement. Patrick died, unmarried and unexpectedly in 1994.

Since 1723 Cobbolds had been Brewers in Suffolk for 266 years. In the 76 years since ITFC went professional there have only been 29 directors and a third of them have been Cobbolds. There have only been 8 Chairmen and 5 of those have been Cobbolds. The Corinthian spirit dominated both. Sadly, Football and Brewing are not like that anymore.


Anthony Cobbold 2006

Life Events

1927Born
1944Death of father Col. John Murray (Ivan) COBBOLD DL JP
1983Died

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