Group to walk hundreds of miles to Portman Road to raise money in Keavin Beattie’s memory
PUBLISHED: 18:31 07 August 2020
A group of Kevin Beattie’s close friends are set to walk hundreds of miles from the club he supported as a boy to the home of Ipswich Town in a bid to raise money in his memory.
Despite being delayed by Covid-19, Malcolm Thompson and another close friend of Beattie will set off from Brunton Park - home of Carlisle United, the club Beattie supported as a youngster - on September 27, before walking hundreds of miles through the British countryside to Ipswich.
They are hoping to arrive at Portman Road on October 10, meaning they will have to walk more than 22 miles a day to travel the mammoth 311-mile journey within two weeks.
The walk had originally been organised to raise funds for the Beat Goes On campaign which aimed to help fund a statue of the Town legend, which will be erected outside of Portman Road.
However, the coronavirus outbreak put the breaks on the fundraising attempt and since, the campaign has achieved its goal.
MORE: You’ve done it! Kevin Beattie statue appeal hits target thanks to Blues fans
Now, Mr Thompson will complete the walk in support of the Kevin Beattie Foundation, a not–for–profit organisation that was founded to support various charities in the name of the former Town defender, who died suddenly in 2018 aged 64.
The project’s mission is to reach out to as many charities as possible, big or small, and help them by providing financial support with the blessing of the family and the Professional Football Association.
Mr Thompson, from Clacton, said: “The walk will be very hard and some of the walkways will be dangerous, as there will not always be the suitable paths to walk on and so to complete this will take a lot of nerve, as well as strength and will power.
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“The lockdown has limited the training to what we planned but if The Beat could play through pain for the team, then we can slog through the mileage no matter what is thrown at us – fingers cross.”
MORE: Close friends of Kevin Beattie to walk hundreds of miles in aid of ‘The Beat Goes On’ campaign
After the walk, there will be an evening with ex-manager and player Jim Magilton and ex-captain Matt Holland.
A massive raffle and auction will also take place with donations from various clubs and top players, as well as singer Olly Murs, comedian Micky Flanagan, snooker player Steve Davis and England cricket legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott.
There is even a signed donation by the Commander of International Space Station Chris Hadfield.
“Even Kevin has fans in Space,” said Mr Thompson.
The project is already looking to connect with a number of charities including The MS Society, a cause close to the Beattie family as his wife Maggie suffers from the condition.
Organisers are also encouraging local charities to get in touch as they want to be able to support as many as possible.
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