IPSWICH Town followers are putting their heads together to organise a special event aimed at "re-energising" their supporters' branches in Tendring.

The Blues have fan clubs in Clacton and Manningtree, along with another in Witham and Mid-Essex.

The idea is to join forces to put on a function that will attract new supporters and breathe life into the branches.

Steve Butcher is a stalwart of the Manningtree club and has been avidly watching Ipswich since 1968.

"In terms of the number of supporters who still actively go, our numbers have really dwindled," he said.

"We’re struggling and Clacton branch treasurer Jill Lewis says it's the same for them.

"More and more people became disengaged but things are changing under (manager) Paul Lambert.

"He's got a connection and rapport with the supporters and has got the message across to (owner) Marcus Evans.

"Even though relegation now looks a certainty, I'm a lot more hopeful and positive now than I was this time last year, when the club was stagnating under (previous boss) Mick McCarthy.

"Others feel the same and we want to celebrate that, and get more people back involved supporting the club, by putting on a special event, possibly in the summer.

"If it goes well, it could re-energise both branches and be the first of several similar events.

"At the moment, it's just an idea but it's something we want to get off the ground.

"Between the clubs, we have lots of connections, including some with staff and people behind the scenes.

"I think it could be a really interesting night."

Despite Ipswich's impending drop into League One, Butcher believes it could be a good time to drum up support.

He believes the interest is there and points to the crowd of over 23,000 that attended the recent defeat against Reading.

He also was encouraged by the bumper turnout of 200+ for the recent Kevin Beattie nostalgia night in Clacton, which featured former players Paul Mariner, Eric Gates and Brian Talbot.

"There's a bit of doom and gloom at the moment but I believe the future's bright," said Butcher.

"If the club gets its pricing structure right and the football goes as we hope, I don't see any reason for crowds to drop next season.

"With Paul in charge, the club has clear direction and we want to fasten ourselves onto that, ride the wave and hopefully build on it.

"There's a lot of enthusiasm and people out there who want to see the club prosper and succeed."

Anyone who would like to be involved in a supporters' event can email Steve via stevebutcher55@btinternet.com