The Beat Goes On - Fundraising Campaign for a Beattie Statue Launched
Tuesday, 18th Dec 2018 06:00
A campaign to raise funds for a statue of Blues legend Kevin Beattie, who died in September, is launched today on what would have been his 65th birthday.
Led by the EADT and Ipswich Star in conjunction with BBC Radio Suffolk and TWTD, The Beat Goes On aims to raise the £110,000 required for the statue, which will be erected at Portman Road, and additional associated costs.
Fundraising starts immediately online via GoFundMe, by putting money in a collection box or by sending a cheque. A number of events and other fundraising activities are planned for the months to come.
Beattie’s daughter, Emma Harvey, a member of the campaign committee, said: “The whole family are completely overwhelmed by the response to the statue for dad.
“For him to be remembered by everyone in this way is extremely humbling and we know he would have been incredibly proud to be made a part of Ipswich Town’s wonderful history.”
Blues legend Terry Butcher, another committee member, idolised Beattie as a boy before playing alongside him and eventually inheriting his number six shirt.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “He is well worthy of a statue because he was Ipswich Town’s greatest player. I’m sure all the fans will be right behind the campaign.”
Brad Jones, editor of the EADT and Ipswich Star, said: “The Beat was the complete footballer, and he holds a very special place in the hearts of fans – not just because of his time as a player, but after his career he continued to have a terrific rapport with supporters, and always had time for them.
“We think this statue is a fitting and justified tribute to a man voted our club’s best ever player.”
BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy, who hosted Life’s a Pitch alongside Beattie for seven years, added: “It was a terrible shock when The Beat died, I still can’t quite believe he’s not here any more.
“I admired him from the stands as a fan, I enjoyed working alongside him on BBC Radio Suffolk but above all I was proud to call him a friend.
“Every time I speak to ex-players, they always say he was head and shoulders above the rest of our other town greats, so I think it is fitting that we honour our greatest ever player with a statue in Portman Road.
“We have statues of our two greatest managers, so why not our best player? He always had time for fans and I hope they feel they can give to this appeal. I know how much it would mean to his family, friends and former team-mates.”
Town supporter Sean Hedges-Quinn, known as Coach, who sculpted the statues of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson will be commissioned for the project with preliminary discussions regarding the design having already taken place.
The appeal has received an early boost via two significant and generous donations, £5,000 from the Ipswich Town Independent Supporters Trust and £1,000 from the Ipswich Town Supporters Club.
Colin Kreidewolf, secretary and treasurer of the Trust, said: “We are very pleased to be able to support this campaign to immortalise Kevin Beattie as the greatest player ever to play for Ipswich Town with a statue to be sited near to the two legendary managers who managed both Ipswich and England.
“Kevin was an immense powerful footballer who will long be remembered by the Ipswich Town faithful who were fortunate enough to see him play.”
Tim Edwards, partner of the Ipswich Town Heritage Society, said: “The Beat was both hero and friend to so many Town fans, undoubtedly our greatest-ever player but also so much a part of our community.
“A permanent statue, following the renowned existing memorials to Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, will be a permanent reminder of The Beat’s special place in our hearts.”
TWTD’s Phil Ham added: “No player in Ipswich Town’s history deserves a statue more than Kevin Beattie. He was the greatest player in the club’s greatest era.
“After growing up having Beat as one of my heroes it was a privilege to spend my Saturday lunchtimes with him on BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s a Pitch.”
Make a donation online via the Go Fund Me page or send a cheque made payable to ‘The Beat Goes On’ to Kevin Beattie Statue Appeal, EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP11RS.
There are also collection buckets at reception at the EADT’s offices and BBC Radio Suffolk.
Butcher was among those to appear on this morning's Mark Murphy breakfast show on BBC Radio Suffolk.
The Beat Goes On Committee
Photos: Action Images/TWTD
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