Kevin Beattie photo exhibition launches in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 19:00 30 May 2019
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Ipswich Sailmakers has launched a photo exhibition paying tribute to Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie, as the campaign to erect a statue of him outside Portman Road reaches £80,000.
The six-week display features iconic photographs of the former Town hero, who died suddenly at the age of 64 in September 2018.
The exhibition has been organised by Ipswich Town Heritage Society and aims to raise awareness of The Beat Goes On campaign, which was launched at the end of last year.
The campaign was launched by the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star in conjunction with BBC Radio Suffolk and the TWTD website, to fund a lasting memorial to Ipswich Town's greatest ever player.
The Beat Goes On has now raised more than £80,000 of its £110,000 target which means the sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn now has enough money to start work on the statue.
The Sailmakers exhibition has been organised by lifelong fan Elizabeth Edwards, who along with her husband Tim lead the club's heritage society to "safeguard and celebrate" the history of Ipswich Town FC.
Speaking of the exhibition, Elizabeth said: "It features his life and career and includes plenty of pictures fans have taken over the years. Our Clacton branch for example provided old photos from events they've held over the years.
"We've got a big picture of the design which is of Kevin jumping up to head the ball, it's lovely. There is information about how you can get involved and donate as well as upcoming events.
"The exhibition is a fantastic sight and Sailmakers have provided a great location for us to get the message out. Anything we can do to raise awareness helps the campaign."
The campaign is working to a tight deadline, in hope of unveiling the statue on December 18, 2019, which would have been Kevin's birthday."
Sailmakers Shopping Centre manager Mike Sorhaindo said: "Kevin Beattie really was an iconic figure at Ipswich, an absolute legend, and but for injury could well have gone on to become as big a star for England as he was for Ipswich."
Further events are planned including screenings of the hit 1981 film Escape to Victory in June - a film which featured a number of former Ipswich Town players including Kevin Beattie who played a body double for Michael Caine.
Russell Osman, who played Doug Clure, one of the prisoner of war footballers, will be at the screenings to talk about the film and the stars who were in it.