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Businesses provide huge donation to give Beattie statue campaign a boost

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 10:33 18 February 2019

Mark Calver, Mark Murphy and Garry Smith at Ridgeons  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mark Calver, Mark Murphy and Garry Smith at Ridgeons Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A donation of the materials and manpower to build a plinth where the statue of Kevin Beattie will stand has given ‘The Beat Goes On’ fundraising campaign a huge boost.

Ipswich Town’s Kevin Beattie in 1977  Picture: OWEN HINESIpswich Town’s Kevin Beattie in 1977 Picture: OWEN HINES

The plinth has been generously donated by campaign committee member Mark Calver, who owns MC Contracts and the Greshams venue and restaurant in Ipswich, and Ridgeons Timber and Builders Merchants at Martlesham Heath, which will provide materials.

The fantastic donation comes as the campaign reached a milestone of raising £20,000 just under two months after going live.

MORE: Make a donation to the campaign here

Mr Calver said: “The plinth is the foundation of the statue, it is the starting point. We knew that if we could get the base sorted out then that would take a big chunk of the fundraising away, so we are closer to the target and it makes it more achievable.

Mark Calver and Ridgeons are going to be donating the plinth for the Kevin Beattie statue   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMark Calver and Ridgeons are going to be donating the plinth for the Kevin Beattie statue Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Kevin was a real supporters’ player. I think everyone has shown that with their support for the campaign, especially at the start of the campaign.

“I think that our goal is definitely manageable and we still have a few events lined up at Greshams in a few months’ time.

“All the ex-players are on board, they all want to do their bit. Even if you ask Terry Butcher, a former England captain, who is part of our campaign committee. He said he wasn’t as good as Kevin and that speaks volumes.”

The East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star launched the campaign – called The Beat Goes On – in conjunction with BBC Radio Suffolk and the TWTD website.

Kevin Beattie waves to the crowd at Wembley in 1978  Picture: ARCHANTKevin Beattie waves to the crowd at Wembley in 1978 Picture: ARCHANT

It is hoped the statue will be erected in Portman Road and will be made by Suffolk sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, who did the statues of both Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson.

The initial fundraising target was £110,000, though following the plinth donation – and other work happening behind the scenes on finalising the design – a lower target figure will be confirmed soon.

Brad Jones, EADT and Ipswich Star editor, said: “This is an amazing gesture from both Mark and Ridgeons – we are so grateful.”

Mark Murphy, BBC Radio Suffolk presenter and committee member, said: “It is amazing how much has been raised.

“We are heading towards £50,000 already and I just think it’s amazing although I’m not surprised. People loved Kevin Beattie and he loved them, it’s great the fans are getting involved with the fundraising and now to have a couple of businesses involved who have donated the plinth is brilliant.”

How you can donate to the appeal:

• Send cheques made payable to ‘The Beat Goes On’ to Kevin Beattie Statue Appeal, EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP11RS

• Visit the crowdfunding page and make a donation online here

• Collection buckets at reception of both the EADT office and BBC Radio Suffolk.

• A new website has also been set up for the campaign. Visit via this link.

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