'It should make you proud to be a Town fan' - Beattie statue collection raises huge sum
PUBLISHED: 19:34 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:34 12 August 2019
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A bucket collection outside Portman Road on Saturday for the Kevin Beattie statue appeal has been counted - and delivered a massive boost to the campaign.
The money was donated by generous Ipswich Town supporters around Portman Road before Saturday's match against Sunderland - and it raised a staggering £6,488.
And Blues owner Marcus Evans announced on Saturday afternoon that he would match whatever was raised - meaning nearly £13,000 has been generated for the appeal.
We are now little more than £10,000 away from reaching the overall target for the statue, which will immortalize the club's greatest ever player.
Ipswich Town Supporters' Club chairman Mark Ramsay, who arranged Saturday's collection, said he was thrilled with the result.
Mark, who is also on the statue campaign committee, said: "This is a tremendous achievement and the spirit and atmosphere in which the collection took place meant it was a pleasure to do .
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"Supporters young and old have come together to assist us. We had no real idea how much had been contributed until a group of us emptied the buckets and counted it after the game on Saturday.
"My thanks go to all the Supporters' Club committee that helped, along with a few friends and relatives. But most of all thank you to everyone who contributed, it should make you all immensely proud to be Ipswich Town supporters."
Since launching in December, more than £70,000 has now been pledged in cash, while MC Contracts and Ridgeons are donating the plinth in kind.
The Beat Goes On campaign - a joint project between the East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Star, BBC Suffolk and independent Ipswich Town website TWTD - is raising money for the erection of a statue of The Beat outside Portman Road.
Sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, who also completed the statues of both Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey, has now started work on the statue - an impressive leaping design which shows Beat's power and agility.
The appeal was launched in December on what would have been the Beat's 65th birthday, with a committee including Kevin's daughter Emma, Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher and BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy, spearheading the fundraising.
Lots of successful events have been organised in the last six months, including a gala night at Greshams Ipswich.
To donate to the Beat Goes On statue appeal visit the online donation page. Alternatively, you can send cheques made payable to The Beat Goes On to Kevin Beattie Statue Appeal, EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS.