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Final rallying call for Ipswich fans to pay tributes to Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie

PUBLISHED: 15:14 26 October 2018

Kevin Beattie alongside team-mate Allan Hunter

Kevin Beattie alongside team-mate Allan Hunter

Archant

Crowds of Ipswich Town fans will flock to Portman Road today to pay their final respects to club legend Kevin Beattie.

Kevin Beattie playing for Ipswich Town against Bohemians of Prague in October 1980. Picture: Archant libraryKevin Beattie playing for Ipswich Town against Bohemians of Prague in October 1980. Picture: Archant library

The funeral of Town’s greatest ever player takes place this afternoon (Friday, October 26) and fans are encouraged to travel to Town’s stadium to say goodbye.

The procession will pass by Sir Bobby Robson’s statue at approx 2.30pm, before heading to Seven Hills Crematorium for a private ceremony.

Supporters are advised to pay tributes to ‘The Beat’ outside of Portman Road, rather than at the crematorium - where a ceremony will be saved for his family and close friends.

Beattie, who scored 24 times for Ipswich Town in his 228 appearances, died suddenly on September 16, aged 64.

Kevin Beattie sadly died on September 16, aged 64. Picture: ARCHANTKevin Beattie sadly died on September 16, aged 64. Picture: ARCHANT

The news was broken by his friend and BBC Radio Suffolk colleague Mark Murphy, who said: “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.

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

In the days that followed, flowers, notes and scarves were placed on Sir Bobby’s statue.

Beattie joined Ipswich as a 15-year-old and progressed through the youth ranks, making his debut against Manchester United in 1972.

He made 228 appearances for Ipswich Town, scoring 32 goals, and was an FA Cup and UEFA Cup winner for Town, while he also won the PFA Young Player of the Year 1973/74 – the inaugural winner of the award.

He scored his first league goal two weeks after his debut aginst Leeds United in a 3-3 draw.

The centre-half was first called up to the England squad in 1975 by Don Revie and played in a 5-0 thrashing of Cyprus at Wembley.

Beattie scored his only goal for England during a 5-1 win over Scotland in the British Home Championships which has now been voted as one of England’s top 50 goals.

Following Beattie’s departure from Ipswich in 1981 after nine years of service he played in Colchester and Middlesbrough before travelling to Scandinavia once scoring 60 goals in a season.

The legend was treated to a testimonial at Portman Road in 1982 where Ipswich took on Dynamo Moscow.

The game ended in a 2-2 draw and Beattie was applauded on the pitch by the players and crowd.

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