Tributes flood in after Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie dies aged 64

Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

The footballer Kevin Beattie, regularly voted Ipswich Town’s greatest ever player, has died aged 64.

Born in Carlisle, Beattie joined Ipswich Town in July 1971 and stayed with the club for 10 years.

The legendary footballer has died aged 64 Picture: WENDY TURNER

The legendary footballer has died aged 64 Picture: WENDY TURNER - Credit: Archant

He picked up a series of accolades including 1973-74 PFA Young Player of the Year, won the FA Cup in 1978 and the UEFA Cup in 1981.

Due to injury, he retired in December of that year but later returned to play for north Essex clubs Colchester United, Clacton Town and Harwich & Parkeston.

The defender also earned nine caps for England between 1975 and 1977.

Sir Bobby Robson once described him as the best England player he had ever seen.

BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy broke the news of Beattie’s death on Twitter.

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“Kevin was my BBC Radio Suffolk co-host on Life’s a Pitch for the past seven years and I am proud to call him my friend.

“When I started the programme all those years ago his was the first name on my team sheet.

“He was without doubt the greatest ever footballer to pull on the Ipswich Town shirt.

“The fans idolised him and he loved the fans with equal measure. He would be mobbed wherever we went and he loved it!

“To say I’m devastated is an understatement, I will miss him terribly.”

Former Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks said: “He left us with some sensational memories.

“He was a defender who could attack. He could run like a sprinter and jump like a gazelle.

“He excited all of us who stood on the terraces. It’s just terribly sad.”

Meanwhile, former teammate Allan Hunter described Beattie as an “unbelievable player”.

The former Northern Ireland international formed a formidable defensive duo with Beattie during his time at Ipswich Town.

READ MORE The Fuller Flavour: Karl Fuller takes a look at the England career of Town legend Kevin Beattie

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