Ipswich owner Marcus Evans breaks cover to boost play-off bid

Portman Road - Ipswich Town

Reclusive millionaire Marcus Evans posed for a fan photo after Saturday's draw with Norwich and supporters are taking inspiration from the rare appearance.

Evans bought Ipswich Town in 2007, but has rarely given interviews and the club has never released official photos of him, as he prefers to keep a low profile and let the players and management do the talking.

But after Saturday's 1-1 draw with local rivals Norwich City in the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final first leg, Evans was recognised by a supporter and agreed to a photo with his son, Jake Shelton.

Ipswich's media manager Steve Pearce attempted to play down the incident and told the BBC:  "Marcus has always preferred to stay in the background and that won't change. He is not one to seek publicity and thinks the attention of the fans and the media should be on those on the pitch."

But the chance appearance of the events management tycoon - who has a reported wealth of £765 million - has sparked a flurry of interest among the Tractor Boys' support. It was a shock sighting which has boosted interest ahead of the second leg, as fans are able to put a face to a name. Many clubs will be envious of an owner that prefers to stay in the background, and Ipswich fans can use the impromptu appearance as a rallying cry with the crunch second leg due at the weekend. 

Speaking of Evans' unscheduled media appearance, Carl Day of the Ipswich Town Supporters' Trust said to the BBC: "It's good to see he's embracing the fans. It's obvious that he's become a fan of the club since taking over."

As the second leg at Carrow Road approaches, Ipswich have taken heart from drawing level in Saturday's tight encounter with a 45th minute Paul Anderson goal, thus halting a run of four straight defeats against their bitter East Anglian neighbours.

With only seven wins on the road in the regular season, Ipswich have by far the worst away record of the top six Championship clubs, but they know anything can happen in the play-offs and their supporters are taking inspiration wherever they can.

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