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Close friends of Kevin Beattie to walk hundreds of miles in aid of 'The Beat Goes On' campaign

PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 June 2019

Malcolm Thompson (left) with his good friend and 'hero' Kevin Beattie. Picture: v

Malcolm Thompson (left) with his good friend and 'hero' Kevin Beattie. Picture: v

Archant

Close friends of Kevin Beattie are to take on a marathon challenge by walking from the club he supported as a boy to the Portman Road home of Ipswich Town which he graced as a player.

Kevin Beattie shows his appreciation to fans who attend his testimonial match in 1982Kevin Beattie shows his appreciation to fans who attend his testimonial match in 1982

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, before walking hundreds of miles through the British countryside to Ipswich.

The journey will take the pair approximately 311 miles, meaning they will need to walk over a marathon a day for 10 days non-stop, in a bid to raise money for The Beat Goes On Campaign and Prostate Cancer.

However, they will have some company on their journey in the form of a couple of other former Town stars, including Kevin's first ever roommate Kenny Sharpe and ex midfield goal scoring machine Tommy Miller.

-Donate to the cause here

Mr Thompson, from Clacton, said: "Kevin was always there for me through my good and bad times and so it's my way of repaying back his friendship and helping me through some bad times.

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"To have him on the phone every Friday night was great and now I want to show him how much I appreciated all that he did for me even though he could not see it himself at the time. He was a legend by far on the pitch but he was a hero of mine off it, too.

"I started training in March and as I set out from my flat I could hear The Beat's voice saying "Come on Pal, you can do this" and to be honest that was all I needed."

The pair are splitting the money raised between The Beat Goes On and Prostate Cancer, one of the charities backed by Sky Sport's Jeff Stelling, one of their supporters.

They have produced specially designed wrist bands and have set up a funding page online.

He added: "The easiest question to answer is why am I doing this.

"Despite the horrendous conditions we will have to face and the risks of the roads, both my friend and I were very good friends of The Beat and as the statue of him is being paid for by the fans, we want to be part of that. When we walk past the finished article we will know we played a part in that being made and it is for us a comfort of not seeing our dear friend again.

"We can visit the statue and imagine the Beat saying: 'Well done, pal' not just to us two but to all the Town fans he adored and who adored him back."

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