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Six Was the Best
Written by SpiritOfJohn on Saturday, 22nd Sep 2018 09:52

When Kevin Beattie's book, The Beat, was published in 1998 there were a few informal signing sessions arranged. As I was a schoolboy in the 70s, Kevin was a footballing hero of mine, so I thought I would brave the crowds and get in the queue for his autograph at Brannigan's in Ipswich. My Mum was also a big fan, so we decided to get there early and wait in line.

When we arrived we were surprised to notice there weren't many cars about and no queue outside the door. We walked in somewhat concerned we might have got the dates wrong, but sat at a table on his own, bar a few copies of his book, was the great man himself. We quickly joined him and got talking about his book, Bobby Robson, the players of the past, the current Ipswich team, his health, our journey into town and the weather.

After about 20 minutes of chat, somebody else came sheepishly through the door and we moved on to a nearby table. The Beat was soon off again with the same infectious enthusiasm he had shown us. He genuinely loved football, especially Ipswich Town, its players and its supporters.

I hope the club are able to do something by way of a lasting tribute to our greatest player.

The poise of a dancer
The power of a tank
The pace of a sprinter
The privilege of watching
    The Beat in his pomp.

The crunch of a tackle
The cup-winner"s medal
The curse of injury
The hundred-plus caps
    The Beat should have had.

The jump of a salmon
The joker in the pack
The joy in his voice
The generosity of spirit
    The Beat had in spades.

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ElephantintheRoom added 09:00 - Sep 24
Sums up the Beattie legend rather nicely. In an era when players and managers can't be bothered to even live in the area, Beattie's love of the club and the town shines out even more now. A statue is the least he deserves - and maybe somewhere in the centre of Ipswich rather than the land of spivs that Portman Road is at present.

armchaircritic59 added 17:51 - Sep 25
I can appreciate this might be a bit tricky, but i'd love to see a statue of him doing one of his big leaps and heading the ball. I've never forgot a header he scored at Everton after coming on as a late sub in a cup tie there. I was right behind the goal, and i swear i've never seen a footballer jump so high, his head appeared to be actually higher than the bar, and all that from a guy whose knees were in a poor state! Oh for someone like "the beat" now!

I don't suppose it could be incorperated into the new Cornhill?

As for the Spivs ElephantintheRoom, i'm not sure if things are quite that grim, but i certainly know where you're coming from! I sense you might be of my vintage(!), and if so, things have changed greatly in "the beautiful game", and sadly, not always for the best!

MJR101 added 12:45 - Sep 26
Kevin was my hero too. Went to the Brentford game to pay tribute but seemed surrounded by youngsters who would not have seen him play ( not their fault). Feel,as though a link with the past and a tie with the club has been cruelly severed. So sad about his injuries and subsequent hard times.
RIP Beat.

eddiespearitt03 added 01:43 - Sep 27
There should be a statue of Kevin on the CHANTRY ESTATE........the one place he lived most of his life. Everybody loved Kevin Beattie for the kind of man he was. Bless your soul. Rest in Peace x

SheffieldTractor added 14:40 - Oct 7
Nice, thanks for sharing.
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