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Mills: The Best Player We've Ever Had
Sunday, 16th Sep 2018 20:48

Legendary Blues skipper Mick Mills has hailed his team-mate Kevin Beattie, who died earlier today aged 64, the club’s best ever player.

Mills captained Beattie throughout his time with Town as Sir Bobby Robson built a side which became a major force in domestic and European football.

“I think he’s the best player that we’ve ever had, certainly he was the best player that we had through that successful 70s/80s period,” Mills told TWTD.

“And pretty much I would argue with anybody that he’s been the best player that Ipswich Town Football Club has ever had.

“With what he had, he was awesome. He wasn’t a trickster, he didn’t have many clever tricks, he didn’t complicate the game at all, he just had that amazing speed, amazing strength, amazing power.

“He had a wonderful left foot and he just managed to put it all together in a very, very simplistic way, never complicated anything and was pretty unique. He was up there with the best, no question about it.

“And I think secondly, as a person, if ever there’s been anybody that’s been suited to a dressing room when you’re talking about banter and a group of fellas, then Beat was absolutely ideal for it.

“He would never be short of a word, he would always be involved in any tomfoolery going on. An absolutely ideal personality for a dressing room.”

Beattie had a special relationship with manager Robson, who treated him almost as if he was his son.

“I think he had to,” Mills reflected. “He was the right person at the right time for Kevin. I think we all suffered with loneliness when we first left home and went somewhere very, very strange and many miles away from home.

“But I think Kevin would have suffered more than most. He needed people, he needed somebody to be a guiding light for him and there’s no question that Sir Bobby was the man that took that up and I think both Bobby and Kevin appreciated what they did for one another.”

Beattie won only nine England caps but Mills believes the Carlisle-born defender would have made three figures but for the injury problems which blighted his career.

“He would have done, there’s no question about it,” he insisted. “Unfortunately there are a lot of people who without question are international standard and should be up there with the century makers.

“George Best maybe didn’t do as much as he should have internationally, but Kevin’s was really purely and simply down to injury, he couldn’t quite keep his body right for a long enough period.

“Had he stayed relatively injury free, there’s no question, he got his first cap in 1975 so he got in early and his talent has been recognised at international level, the opportunity was there for Kevin but unfortunately he wasn’t able to take it.

“If he had got in and stayed injury free, then nobody would have shifted him. He could have chosen his position, if he wanted to play left-side centre-back then he could have had that one, if he’d wanted to be the left-back he could have had that. He was good enough, there’s no question. He’s as good as there’s been really.”

Comparing Beattie to the current crop of England centre-halves, Mills said: “We’re just beginning to get together a successful national team and you look at the centre-backs there.

“Kyle Walker went as a full-back, John Stones as a centre-back figure, they talk about Harry Maguire now commanding a massive figure if he was to move from Leicester.

“No disrespect to Maguire, he’s a good player and he’s done really well for England, but Kevin is a different level altogether. So, if they were £50 million or £60 million, you can double that easily.”

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legoman added 20:55 - Sep 16
Warky was the best for me but second to Warky aint bad at all.

carlo88 added 21:01 - Sep 16
That picture of Mick and that strip brings up goosebumps.

floridablue added 21:02 - Sep 16
Summed up Kevin brilliantly Mick, both of you true legends for ITFC.

rfretwell added 21:10 - Sep 16
All our 80/81 team were superb players that's,why we were the best in Europe. Warkys goals, Armies magnificent passes forward, Frans ability to keep the ball under the severest pressure, Mariners fabulously arrogant centre forward play, I could go on. All legends of course. In todays market that team must be worth not far short of a BILLION pounds! Crikey!

MBG added 21:17 - Sep 16
Well said, Mick - it captured Kevin Beattie perfectly. The words of a true captain.

SpiritOfJohn added 21:22 - Sep 16
Fantastic player. One of the few individuals who had days when he could win a game on his own, but also a great team player. No wonder we used to sing he walks on water. He was that good!

pazzy added 21:56 - Sep 16
Kevin was the best player I have ever watched and I have seen them all only best came anywhere near him rip Kev you were the greatest

Bob7881 added 22:22 - Sep 16
Nice words from Mick another club legend along with John Wark and Terry butcher all for different reasons but Kevin was the most gifted feeling so proud of my club today made me realise i have been privilaged to watch so many geat players led by the the one and only Sir Bobby Robson.

pablo123 added 22:29 - Sep 16
Well said skipper !! Totally totally devastated by this news today , can't believe it to be honest . Such a great player and such a wonderful man . You will never be forgotten by all us fans kB , my thoughts and prayers and tears go out to the family and friends of our true legend . Love ya kev xxxx

Gforce added 22:51 - Sep 16
Well said Mick ,summed up Kevin perfectly.
I was lucky enough to watch the beat in action on many occasions,
always brilliant,it was a while ago but I can't recall him ever having a bad game.
Still think we would have won that FA cup semi-final against Man City in 1981,
if he hadn't gone off injured with a broken arm.
The best side in England right now Manchester City,well the beat would walk into
their defence,twice as good as any of their defenders,says it all really.
RIp Kevin.


LegendofthePhoenix added 05:22 - Sep 17
Kevin Beattie Walks on Water
La la la la la, la la la la

SheffieldTractor added 08:45 - Sep 17
Well said Mick Mills. Those who never saw him week in week out may try and assess his career by numbers - which in no way reflect his performances. Those of us that saw him play regularly understand just how extraordinary this man was. I hope now that the club ensure Kevin's wife is looked after and I know Portman Road will honour him appropriately tomorrow.

bobble added 09:14 - Sep 17
wark was in a different universe but beatie was superb,,,,mills was pretty bloody good as well,i have only seen tpwn play live about 8 times and frans was my man....and i loved paul cooper.

WirralBlue added 10:14 - Sep 17
Quite simply, the best player I have ever seen play live in the blue shirt of Ipswich. RIP Kevin

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