Hurst: A Win Would Be a Fitting Tribute to Beattie
Monday, 17th Sep 2018 13:35
Town boss Paul Hurst says a victory over Brentford at Portman Road on Tuesday would be a fitting tribute to Blues legend Kevin Beattie, who died yesterday aged 64, and believes a memorial at the ground would be an appropriate accolade for the man many hail as the club’s greatest ever player.
Hurst, who took charge of the club in the summer, hadn’t met Beattie, who remained a familiar face on matchdays as the legend in residence on BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s a Pitch, but knows the standing in which he is held at Town.
“I heard the news yesterday and I’ve read the articles online and I know what a legend at the football club he was and he will still be remembered that way, and rightly so,” he said.
“I didn’t know him personally but I do understand that the work he was still undertaking at the football club and how well thought of he was.
“To be held as the best player, which I think a lot of people consider him at Ipswich Town Football Club.
“Knowing a lot of the other players that would come into that thinking just shows what a player he was and he’ll be sadly missed by everyone connected to Ipswich Town.”
Hurst, who is still without a win since taking over at Town in the summer, is too young to remember Beattie’s heyday but says he is keen to learn more about the Carlisle-born central defender’s career.
“I think naturally you do that when you become part of a football club and its proud history and he sits right at the top of that,” he added. “Our thoughts are with his family at this very, very sad time.”
How much might Beattie be worth today? “Certainly a lot more than we could afford and I’m sure we could do with him at this moment in time.
“I guess he’d be right up there, wouldn’t he? I lose track of the figures, they’re that ridiculous, to be honest. Certainly a lot, a lot of millions that’s for sure.”
Reflecting on Tuesday’s match against the second-placed Bees, when there will be a minute’s applause prior to kick-off and the players will wear black armbands, Hurst said: “We need the three points, that’s obvious, it’s very, very tough opposition that we’re up against but it would be very fitting if we could get a win on what will be a special night, particularly prior to kick-off.”
He added: “It would be a fitting evening [to get that first victory] because I’m sure with his relationship with the football club, he’d be looking down and desperately hoping that we can get that win.
"He wouldn’t be thinking it would be for him but it would be nice to be able to get that victory and then dedicate it to someone that’s so special to this football club.”
There have been calls from fans for the club to instigate some kind of permanent memorial to Beattie at Portman Road, such as a statue, and Hurst believes it would be fully deserved.
“I haven’t been here long but I’ve seen how some of its special people in its history have been commemorated here and I think that would be a fitting gesture,” he continued.
“I’m sure that’s something that will be looked into if it hasn’t already because there’s no doubt, straight away, listening to and seeing views from fans what a special talent Kevin was and how he was thought of, so I’m sure that’s something that the club will look at.”
Photos: TWTD/Action Images
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