Butcher: A Wonderful Man and a Fabulous Footballer
Sunday, 16th Sep 2018 17:04
Fellow Blues legend Terry Butcher has paid tribute to Kevin Beattie, who died aged 64 earlier today.
Butcher idolised Beattie as a fan before playing alongside him as he broke into Sir Bobby Robson’s Blues side in the late 1970s.
“I could never to aspire to be as good as him because he was the best I’ve ever seen in my position, apart from Bobby Moore,” Butcher told TWTD.
“Him and Bobby Moore would have been the ultimate partnership at centre-half, I think. That would have been an absolutely brilliant partnership.
“But it was my pleasure to play with him, to know him, to be a team-mate, to do so many things together, it was the ultimate joy.
“He was such a great character, we called him Monster, he was a monster of guy and a monster of a player and a monster of a character. It’s such tragic news, my thoughts go out to his lovely family as well, 64 is no age.”
Butcher, 59, says that although Beattie was an intimidating character on the field, off the pitch he was quite different.
“He put fear into everybody but he was the nicest guy you could ever meet, like Paul Gascoigne he’d give you his last penny if he could,” the one-time England captain continued.
“But he was just a wonderful man, a wonderful human being, but a fabulous footballer. It was such a shame for the Beat because he didn’t get all the England caps he should have done.
“I was trying to follow him. I was thinking about getting into the Ipswich team and the Beat was there but I was happy that he was because I just wanted to see him play every week.
“And I played alongside him as well, we played a game at Everton that sticks out in my mind.
“He was brilliant as usual and we won the game comfortably and he came off the pitch and just said how well I played and that it was a pleasure playing alongside me. I thought, ‘I should be saying that to you!’. He was wholehearted and down to earth and just a giant of a man.”
“I had to follow on from him, but how can you follow the Beat? You can’t, but you try your best.
“I was never going to reach his level, never in a million years. But not a bad player to model yourself on.”
In terms of Beattie’s value in the modern game, Butcher added: “You look at Virgil van Dijk and how much was paid for him as a centre-half [£75 million], you’re looking at at least double that for the Beat, he could do anything, everything - score goals at one end, stop everything at the other, pace, strength.
“He had fantastic strength, he didn’t really do much in the gym, he was just naturally strong, Popeye forearms, great big legs.
“And he could run as well. When he was in full flight, the Beat, he was like Shergar, supreme, absolutely unbelievable.
“He was like a bulldozer, he really was, but a very quick bulldozer. He was immense, he was absolutely immense.
“A fantastic man and footballer, he loved his football. He loved Ipswich. Once you play for a club like Ipswich, and in those days especially, it was like you were branded with Ipswich Town Football Club all the way through and it was a good thing, it wasn’t a bad thing, it was just love, just love for the club, the people, the area, the town, what it stood for, everything like that.
“And he was a founder member of that when it came to being in that Bobby Robson club at the start, a phenomenal player and it’s a phenomenal miss that we will never hear him again.”
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