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‘The Beat Goes On’ – Campaign launched for statue of Town legend Kevin Beattie

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 18 December 2018

Kevin Beattie mobbed by fans at his testimonial. A campaign is launched today for a statue in his honour  Picture: ARCHANT

Kevin Beattie mobbed by fans at his testimonial. A campaign is launched today for a statue in his honour Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Today we launch a campaign for a lasting memorial to Ipswich Town’s greatest ever player, Kevin Beattie, on what would have been his 65th birthday.

The Kevin Beattie Statue Campaign committee at the Sir Bobby Robson statue  Picture|: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Kevin Beattie Statue Campaign committee at the Sir Bobby Robson statue Picture|: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Today we launch a campaign for a lasting memorial to Ipswich Town’s greatest ever player, Kevin Beattie, on what would have been his 65th birthday.

‘The Beat’, as he was affectionately known by fans, died suddenly in September at the age of 64.

It led to an outpouring of tributes from across the football world.

Our campaign, run in conjunction with BBC Radio Suffolk and the TWTD website, is called ‘The Beat Goes On’, and it will fundraise for a statue of Beattie to be placed in the Portman Road area.

The appeal target, to include the statue and all associated costs, will be £110,000.

Fundraising begins today, and any fan can make a pledge using one of the methods outlined - either online, putting money in a collection tin, or by sending a cheque.

Beattie’s daughter, Emma Harvey, who is on the campaign committee, said: “The whole family are completely overwhelmed by the response to the statue for dad.

“For him to be remembered by everyone in this way is extremely humbling and we know he would have been incredibly proud to be made a part of Ipswich Town’s wonderful history.”

Ipswich Town’s Kevin Beattie in 1977.

Ipswich Town’s Kevin Beattie in 1977.

Blues legend Terry Butcher, also on the campaign committee, said Beattie was his idol.

He said: “We’re looking forward to the challenge. He is well worthy of a statue because he was Ipswich Town’s greatest player. I’m sure all the fans will be right behind the campaign.”

Brad Jones, editor of the EADT and Ipswich Star, said: “The Beat was the complete footballer, and he holds a very special place in the hearts of fans – not just because of his time as a player, but after his career he continued to have a terrific rapport with supporters, and always had time for them.

“We think this statue is a fitting and justified tribute to a man voted our club’s best ever 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

BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy added: “It was a terrible shock when The Beat died, I still can’t quite believe he’s not here anymore. I admired him from the stands as a fan, I enjoyed working alongside him on BBC Radio Suffolk but above all I was proud to call him a friend.

“Every time I speak to ex-players, they always say he was head and shoulders above the rest of our other town greats. So I think it is fitting that we honour our greatest ever player with a statue in Portman Road.

“We have statues of our two greatest managers, so why not our best player?

“He always had time for fans and I hope they feel they can give to this appeal. I know how much it would mean to his family, friends and former team mates.”

Ipswich Town's Kevin Beattie and Clive WoodsIpswich Town's Kevin Beattie and Clive Woods

Suffolk sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, who did the statues of both Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson will be commissioned for the project. Early discussions have already taken place over the design.

And we’re delighted to say the appeal is already off to a flying start thanks to two very generous donations - £5,000 from the Ipswich Town Independent Supporters’ Trust, and a £1,000 from the Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club.

Colin Kreidewolf, secretary and treasurer of the supporters’ trust, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support this campaign to immortalise Kevin Beattie as the greatest player ever to play for Ipswich Town with a statue to be sited near to the two legendary managers who managed both Ipswich and England.

“Kevin was an immense powerful footballer who will long be remembered by the Ipswich Town faithful who were fortunate enough to see him play.”

Phil Ham, editor of independent ITFC website TWTD, said: “No player in Ipswich Town’s history deserves a statue more than Kevin Beattie. He was the greatest player in the club’s greatest era. After growing up having Beat as one of my heroes it was a privilege to spend my Saturday lunchtimes with him on BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s a Pitch.”

Tim Edwards, partner of the Ipswich Town Heritage Society, said: “The Beat was both hero and friend to so many Town fans, undoubtedly our greatest-ever player but also so much a part of our community.

“A permanent statue, following the renowned existing memorials to Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, will be a permanent reminder of The Beat’s special place in our hearts.”

Fundraising will begin immediately. Individual donations are welcome, while there will be a series of Ipswich Town-themed events planned in the coming months which businesses and supporters will be able to get behind.

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.

- Look out for collection buckets at reception of both the EADT office and BBC Radio Suffolk.

- Events will be held in the coming months aimed at fans and businesses. Look out for more details soon.

Campaign committee:

We’ve assembled a fantastic committee to make this project happen:

• Emma Harvey, Kevin’s daughter

• Terry Butcher, Ipswich Town legend

• Mark Murphy, BBC Radio Suffolk

• Charlotte Spackman, Assistant editor, BBC Radio Suffolk

• Brad Jones, editor EADT and Ipswich Star

• Mark Calver, business owner MC Contracts and Greshams Ipswich

• Mark Ramsay, Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club

• Colin Kreidewolf, Ipswich Town Supporters’ Trust

• Phil Ham, editor TWTD website

• Steve Flory, Hudson Signs

• Duncan Foster, Ipswich businessman, associate director ITFC, friend of Beattie and custodian of The Beat’s memorabilia

• Tim Edwards, Partner, Ipswich Town Heritage Society

• Elizabeth Edwards, Director Ipswich Town plc and Partner, Ipswich Town Heritage Society

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