Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy retirement, Marcus Stewart

Yesterday, Marcus Stewart, hero to many and a modern legend of Portman Road, announced his intention to retire from playing football against Bristol Rovers today.

Stewart came to Ipswich around the time I started to support the club. I believe his home debut was made when I made my first ever trip to Portman Road on 12th February 2000. We were playing the club we'd signed him from, Huddersfield, and we won 2-1. I think Stewart scored as well.

The two years he spent at Portman Road have been described as one of the highlights of his 20 year career. He scored 19 goals for us in the Premier League, helping us finish 5th. He played in Europe and then, when we were relegated, moved to Sunderland.

He's been playing football almost as long as I've been alive, and his decision to retire against the club he started at, Bristol Rovers, is brilliant. He left Sunderland because he thought he was too old to play in the Premier League, and here he's retiring to give a youngster his place.

If, and I really hope it does, "There's only one Marcus Stewart" rings around Portman Road for one final time today, I'll be loudly singing it proudly. His time at Portman Road may've been short compared to other clubs, but for all the goals, spirit and memories, Marcus Stewart will always be a name in the hearts of those present at Portman Road.

I may have to dig my gloves out in appreciation, despite the warm weather. Happy retirement, Marcus. You really are a modern day legend.

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