Beattie to be VIP guest at FA Cup final
IPSWICH legend Kevin Beattie will be a VIP guest at this year's FA Cup Final.The ex-Town and England defender will join other former stars at the big game between Manchester United and Chelsea on Saturday week.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH legend Kevin Beattie will be a VIP guest at this year's FA Cup Final.
The ex-Town and England defender will join other former stars at the big game between Manchester United and Chelsea on Saturday week.
It will be the first final to be played at the new Wembley and the FA is pulling out all the stops to make it a memorable occasion.
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Beattie, who starred in Ipswich's 1-0 victory over Arsenal in 1978, will join other former favourites representing the last 50 sides to win the famous trophy in a Legends Parade prior to the big kick-off at the £800 million arena.
He said: “It came completely out of the blue. I had a telephone call from the FA and the official invitation came a few days later.
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“It promises to be a great day. We have to get there for 11am and then there's lunch followed by the parade around the pitch.
“To be honest I can't really believe my luck. When I first heard about it I thought someone was taking the mickey.”
Beattie, 53, made 307 appearances for Ipswich and scored 32 goals before being forced into premature retirement through injury 25 years ago.
But his popularity has never diminished in the eyes of Town fans, who have consistently voted him the club's best-ever player in a series of polls.
He added: “Wembley '78 was the highlight of my career and the last thing I expected was that I would one day set foot on the turf at the brand new stadium.
“From what I have seen of it on television it looks absolutely fantastic and there is no way I would miss the chance to go along.
“I'm told we will be given a behind-the-scenes tour to take in the dressing rooms and it will be fascinating to see how it compares with the old stadium.
“I have great memories of the place - I also scored for England against Scotland there in 1975 - and it will be a nostalgic occasion for all the old boys who are invited.
“I regard it as an honour in itself that the FA have picked me out of the 1978 winning side because there were so many great players in that team.”