Botesdale historian’s latest release tells ‘amazing’ story of FA Cup final hero Osborne

Botesdale, Suffolk. Neil Lanham has made a DVD about former Ipswich Town footballer, and 1978 FA Cup goalscoring hero, Roger Osborne. 

Picture: Mark Bullimore ANL-160211-135347009

Botesdale, Suffolk. Neil Lanham has made a DVD about former Ipswich Town footballer, and 1978 FA Cup goalscoring hero, Roger Osborne. Picture: Mark Bullimore ANL-160211-135347009

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“Osborne! One-nil!” David Coleman’s famous line of commentary will live with Ipswich Town fans of a certain age forever.

The Suffolk side were underdogs against Arsenal on FA Cup Final day on May 6, 1978. More than 100,000 people packed into the stadium to witness Ipswich’s first appearance in the final.

Botesdale, Suffolk. Neil Lanham has made a DVD about former Ipswich Town footballer, and 1978 FA Cup goalscoring hero, Roger Osborne. 

Picture: Mark Bullimore ANL-160211-135407009

Botesdale, Suffolk. Neil Lanham has made a DVD about former Ipswich Town footballer, and 1978 FA Cup goalscoring hero, Roger Osborne. Picture: Mark Bullimore ANL-160211-135407009

Paul Mariner hit the bar in the first half for Town. John Wark struck the same post twice in the second.

But in the 77th minute, an unlikely hero in Roger Osborne —born into a family of 14 children in Otley and one of the few players in the side not to have been capped by their country— wrote his name into the history books, netting the winner with a left-footed strike.

It was all too much for the midfielder — he duly fainted, the late Sir Bobby Robson replacing him with Mick Lambert to see out the win.

Born in 1950, he played for Westerfield and Grundisburgh before signing for his local professional club.

It was an extraordinary way in which he got there. He says it was one of chance and he just accepts it as that

Neil Lanham

His story is now being told thanks to a Botesdale man — who describes Osborne as a “humble”, “ol Suffolk boy” and a “true Suffolk hero”.

Neil Lanham, an expert in the oral traditions of Suffolk, has created more than 100 DVDs, documenting different stories from Suffolk over the years.

He recorded the sit-down interview, The Roger Osborne Story, with Osborne earlier this year, and was there on the day the Tractor Boys lifted the trophy.

“It is a cracking story, isn’t it? Of course there is the football, but the man, and who he is — he is so humble, and so pleased to talk about it,” he said.

“It was an extraordinary way in which he got there. He says it was one of chance and he just accepts it as that.

“It could not have happened to a nicer person.

“I did enjoy doing it because looking at it through an anthropologist’s eyes, he is humble, typical of the resolution and determination of the local people.”

“When I phoned him up he was so pleased with it, and I was delighted.”

£1 from the sale of every DVD will be donated to the charity Activlives of Ipswich, of which Osborne is the patron. To obtain a DVD, £10, or £12 with postage, or for more on Neil Lanham’s work, visit www.oraltraditions.co.uk