Former Town star arrested

IPSWICH Town legend and former England footballer Kevin Beattie has maintained his innocence after being arrested on suspicion of theft.

IPSWICH Town legend and former England footballer Kevin Beattie has maintained his innocence after being arrested on suspicion of theft.

The 54-year-old is being investigated over the disappearance of a sum of money.

But speaking from his home in Wren Avenue, Beattie denied claims of any wrongdoing.

He said: “It is all a misunderstanding which I'm sure will soon be sorted out.

“I have nothing to hide.

“I want to thank my well wishers and friends for their messages of support.”

Most Read

The ex-Town player has been released on police bail until November 11.

Beattie is widely regarded as the best player ever to wear an Ipswich Town shirt.

The defender has twice been voted the club's greatest ever player in polls among Blue's fans, including one organised by The Evening Star.

Carlisle born Beattie made his town debut aged 18 in 1972. His pace, power and bravery quickly established him as a top defender and he played his first England game less than three years later.

Beattie was seen as the natural long term successor to Bobby Moore in England's defence and was one of the few players to stand comparison with the legendary Duncan Edwards, the Busby Babe who died in the Munich air disaster in 1958.

Sir Bobby Robson, formerly Town and England manager, described Beattie as the greatest English born player.

But injuries took their toll on Beattie and he won only nine England caps. He was patched up to play a starring role in Town's FA cup triumph in 1978, but his career ended in 1981 when he broke his arm playing in the FA semi-final.

He missed the club's UEFA cup final victory, although earlier this year he was belatedly awarded a winner's medal.

Since being forced to retire from playing Beattie has had some difficult times, most notably with his health. Pancreatitis almost killed him and his wife Maggie suffers from multiple sclerosis.

In his autobiography published last year Beattie admitted that at one point he sank so low he attempted to end his life, only to be discovered and saved by a friend.

In recent years he has split his time between analysing Ipswich Town games on local radio and caring for his wife.

He remains one of the most popular players ever to appear in the blue and white of Ipswich Town.

A spokesperson for Suffolk police said: “A 54-year-old male has been arrested on suspicion of theft, and released on police bail until November 11.”