Kevin Nolan scored a hat-trick as Newcastle thrashed Ipswich to move two points clear at the top of the Championship table on an afternoon rich in drama and emotion at Portman Road.
There were generous tributes to former Ipswich and Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson before the match and during half-time.
But three goals in four first-half minutes from the visiting team ensured that it would be another miserable afternoon on the pitch for Roy Keane's team.
Nolan opened the scoring with a header and quickly added to that with a composed finish. Ryan Taylor's free-kick ended the quick-fire scoring spree and ensured the game was over as a contest by the break.
Nolan's second header of the match shortly after the restart completed his hat-trick and left Keane looking furious as he watched from the home dug-out.
Ipswich have yet to win in the Championship this season and have now made their worst start to a league campaign - a sequence that increases the pressure on Keane to rapidly find a winning formula.
It was not supposed to be this way on a day that saw the North Stand officially renamed the Sir Bobby Robson Stand by his widow Lady Elsie during the half-time interval.
There were also numerous Ipswich legends in attendance while both teams wore special shirts that will be auctioned off for charity.
The feeling of goodwill from both sets of supporters towards a man they hold in the highest regard was clear for all to see.
We will learn from defeat - Keane
But any celebrating once the match started was restricted solely to Newcastle and their vocal supporters. Ipswich did not lack commitment but they were without a badly-needed cutting edge and suffered their worst home defeat in six years.
Newcastle, in contrast, looked organised and compact, with Nile Ranger and Andy Carroll providing plenty of physical presence up front while Nolan filled the space in behind them.
The impressive Ranger was the grateful recipient of a fortunate ricochet and turned his marker inside and out before shooting low across goal and forcing a decent save from Wright in the opening minutes.
But that aside there were precious few incidents of note from either team before Nolan kicked off Newcastle's three-goal burst with his opener after 30 minutes.
Nolan got in front of his marker at the near post to head home Ryan Taylor's cross from the right-hand side.
The former Bolton player charged towards the away supporters to celebrate - and repeated the dose two minutes later after doubling Newcastle's lead.
His second goal showcased the sort of skill and composure that once saw the midfielder talked about in terms of England honours.
Nolan controlled a pass over the top from Carroll, turned inside to leave Ipswich skipper Alex Bruce tackling thin air and slotted the ball across goal and beyond Wright.
We have great team spirit - Nolan
It was a remarkable brace that left Town reeling and matters soon deteriorated further when Ryan Taylor curled a free-kick across goal and into the top corner. Wright got a firm hand to the ball but could not prevent Newcastle from adding to their lead.
It might have got even worse for Ipswich when Ranger hung superbly in the air before heading across goal but Wright made a very good save to ensure the score remained 3-0 at the break.
The home fans cast aside their gloom to honour Robson during the interval, joining in with a rendition of My Way, but there was to be no on-field respite as Nolan completed his hat-trick minutes after the restart.
It was the simplest of close-range finishes for the midfielder after Ranger had headed a deep Ryan Taylor cross towards the far post.
Ipswich striker Jon Walters headed over and Pim Balkestein smashed the ball wide from very long range but Harper only needed to make one save all afternoon from a scrambled close-range effort late on.
And Ipswich rapidly need to improve on a dismal showing that hinted at a long season of struggle unless there is a dramatic change of fortune for Keane and his players.
Ipswich boss Roy Keane:
"Clearly we are disappointed. We started alright but the first goal knocked our confidence.
"You have to persevere and encourage players.
"We have given teams a helping hand and we can't keep doing it.
"I'm sure Kevin Nolan thought it was Christmas with the first goal and before we knew it we were three down. We certainly have to defend better.
"I don't like losing football matches, the expectations are high but we have got to deal with it and get on with it."
Newcastle caretaker manager Chris Hughton: "I am delighted with the approach with which we went into the game. From start to finish we were excellent.
"It speaks volumes for Kevin Nolan that a midfielder has scored a hat-trick. He has always been with one with an eye for goal
"The lads showed a great desire. We were fortunate enough to get the goals early enough to let us go on."
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