Tickets now available for night of celebration in memory Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie
PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 September 2019
A special evening celebrating Ipswich Town's greatest ever player, Kevin Beattie, will take place next month.
Aimed at Blues fans who have responded so magnificently to the appeal to build a statue of the Town legend, it will take place at Gresham's Ipswich on October 24.
A number of special guests are lined up, and the evening will be hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy, who helped lead the statue campaign. It was announced last month that the appeal, spearheaded by the EADT, Ipswich Star, BBC Radio Suffolk and TWTD website had hit its target in just eight months.
It was launched after the Beat's sudden death at the age of 64 a year ago, and its success means a statue will be erected in Portman Road next year - immortalising the player voted our club's best ever in numerous polls.
We set an initial target of £110,000. Thousands of fans dug deep, while MC Contracts and Ridgeons are donating the plinth in kind - meaning we reached our goal in August.
Mark Calver, chief executive of Gresham's Ipswich and MC Contracts, has been a key member of the campaign team and said the event on October 24 would be a great celebration of The Beat's life.
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He said: "Gresham's Ipswich are delighted to have been part of the team who have brought to fruition the statue of Ipswich Town's greatest ever player, Kevin Beattie.
"It's a tribute to the wonderful people of Ipswich that the fundraising target has been achieved well ahead of schedule".
Work is continuing on the statue, with Sean Hedges-Quinn, the Suffolk sculptor behind the acclaimed statues of both Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey, commissioned to do the work. It is an impressive leaping design, showing the Beat's power and athleticism.
The appeal was launched in December on what would have been the Beat's 65th birthday, with a committee including Kevin's daughter Emma, and Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher.
Many successful events have been organised in the last eight months. Tickets for the event on October 24 are available from the Gresham's Ipswich website, costing £25 per person or £190 for a table of 10. The price includes a buffet and entertainment.
An auction of fantastic football memorabilia is also set to take place on the night, and there should be an opportunity to bid for one of the limited edition Kevin Beattie statue maquettes - a miniature of the final design.
While the appeal target has been met, a small contingency fund is required for the project and some proceeds from the event will go towards that. Any surplus funds will be used strictly in connection with the project, potentially on the likes of improved landscaping.