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Work on Beattie Statue to Begin as Total Hits £80,000
Monday, 20th May 2019 06:00

Sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn is set to start work on the statue of Kevin Beattie after fundraising events held over the weekend took the total donated to the £80,000 mark.

Friday saw a black-tie gala night at Greshams in memory of the Blues legend, who died in September aged 64, which raised £20,000.

An auction of memorabilia and other items contributed to the £100-a-ticket event’s total, while East of England Co-op joint-chief executive Roger Grosvenor presented a £3,000 cheque.

The evening was attended by Beattie’s daughter Emma (pictured below) and former players including Terry Butcher, Mick Mills, Frans Thijssen, Russell Osman, George Burley, Roger Osborne, Brian Talbot, Mick Lambert, John Peddelty and Simon Milton.

BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy hosted while ex-Blues Arnold Muhren, Paul Mariner, Alan Brazil and Fabian Wilnis all sent video messages, while Shefki Kuqi and Kieron Dyer were among those to donate lots for the auction.

Speaking about Beattie at the event, Burley said: “He wasn’t just a player, he was an inspiration. And that made the team play well – because he was so enthusiastic.”

Butcher, a member of the committee who grew up watching Beattie and went on to inherit his number six shirt, recalled their first meeting.

“I was star-struck because he was my hero," he said. "You tried to model yourself on him, but you couldn’t do it – it was mission impossible, he did everything so much better than you.”

Thijssen, who flew to England from Holland especially for the gala, said Beattie made a huge impression on him, despite the two not playing too many matches together due to Beattie’s fitness problems.

“It’s a pity I didn’t play more games with Kevin,” the man Beattie nicknamed Sam after 1970s TV detective McCloud reflected. “In training he was amazing. I’ve never seen a player get up so high.

“It was a great honour to play with these big players. At that moment we had three players in the England team, three in the Scotland team, two in the Dutch national team. Eight players in a national team - for me it was a great time.

Muhren added in his video: “When I came to the club it was always a joy for me to be with him. He was always telling jokes and laughing, he was a very generous person and Kevin Beattie was one of the best centre-halves I’ve ever played with.

“He was extremely fast – he was running backwards faster than me forwards! He was a tremendous tackler, very very good in the air.”

Regarding the statue, Muhren added: “I think it’s a great initiative to do this for Kevin and I hope you have a lot of success with it.

“Give my best regards to the Ipswich Town family and of course my ex-team-mates.”

Osman, who looked after Beattie’s kit as an apprentice, said: “Whenever you were in his company, he made you feel safe.

“Whether you were making your debut alongside him, whether you were playing a normal league game, whether you were in a bar having a drink. He looked after you on the pitch.

“I was fortunate in that sometimes there was Terry one side of me, there was either Kevin or Allan Hunter the other side. It was a privilege for me to learn my trade alongside Kevin.”

Osborne said Beattie was a footballing natural: “He didn’t have to try. I had to play at my maximum or I wouldn’t have got into the team.

“Beat just turned up on the Saturday and played a game of football. He was just a young boy playing football.”

Talbot concurred: “The thing you remember the most is his natural talent. He didn’t have to work at his game. As a man he was generous to a fault, friendly to a fault.

“He had time for everybody at the club. In the mornings, he used to go and see the young kids, remembering he was once of them.

“I think he inspired so many people at that football club to be as good as him. It was a pleasure to play with him, and grow up with him.”

Saturday’s event at The Dove Street Inn in St Helen’s Street was billed as An Afternoon With Frans Thijssen and Terry Butcher but the pair were joined by a third legend, Russell Osman.

Mark Murphy was again the MC where the trio recalled stories from their time at Portman Road and the triumphant UEFA Cup run in 1980/81. The afternoon, which also featured an auction of memorabilia and a raffle, raised just over £1,000.

The cash raised has taken the total to £80,000 and beyond the point where sculptor and Blues season ticket holder Hedges-Quinn, known as Coach, can be commissioned to start work on the statue at his Suffolk studio.

Led by the EADT and Ipswich Star in conjunction with BBC Radio Suffolk and TWTD, The Beat Goes On was launched on December 18th last year on what would have been Beattie’s 65th birthday.

The current target is £110,000, although it is hoped that figure will be reduced as the campaign progresses.

Other events coming up over the summer include screenings of Escape to Victory at Greshams on June 12th and 13th where Osman, John Wark, Laurie Sivell and Kevin O’Callaghan will be telling stories from the film in which Beattie was Michael Caine’s body double.

There is also the night of Proper Comedy at Portman Road on Friday 31st May.

You can 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, IP1 1RS.

There are also collection buckets at reception at the EADT’s offices and at BBC Radio Suffolk.

Photos: Iain Laidlaw/TWTD

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

hoppy added 07:26 - May 20
Brilliant efforts so far, and fantastic to already be at that figure!

Both events were superb, and was pleased to be able to be at both.


ThaiBlue added 07:51 - May 20
Amazing efforts by everyone you have done the legend proud brilliant again.

floridaboy added 08:29 - May 20
Wouldn't it go down really well if the clubs owner made up the rest. Would show his commitment to the club he owns!

busterjames1 added 09:01 - May 20
Great news !

brittaniaman added 09:03 - May 20
As Terry Butcher said to me on Friday, This Statue belongs to the Fans because they are the ones who kindly Donated and can proudly say I did my bit !!!!!

PSGBlue added 09:17 - May 20
Floridaboy, I can see where you are coming with this one. But in this case it’s best if the fans can raise the money for the statue. Nothing will beat passing Kevin’s statue and thinking, yes what a legend Kevin was and yes we thought so much of him we raised the £120k or so to build it in his memory!

I am sure in this case ME is well aware of this fact and would no doubt find the missing funds if required. But he is seeing if we can do this on our own first.

Pendejo added 09:57 - May 20
The Beat will get his statue and it will be the fans who raise the funds... great news to be most of the way there.

Kesblue66 added 11:03 - May 20
Where is Allan Hunter?

BeattiesBackPocket added 12:23 - May 20
Unfortunately never saw him play except on video and you have to wonder how much a guy like him in his prime would be worth in todays market. sir bobby ranked him up there in his top 3 players talent wise with Romario and Ronaldo which says a lot considering he managed some absolute world class players. RIP big man and a fitting tribute

BurleysGloryDays added 14:12 - May 20
Fantastic scenes, I love that we are getting the boys back together that gave this club such an enormously proud history.

So much more should be done to connect the team of today with the club that we are, just look at what the likes of Celtic do with their European win - it's merchandised to the hilt, celebrated wildly, proudly, heroically. We should be the same.

And, while he's still alive we should begin work on one for George Burley - the great connector between the old and the new, the man that took us back to Europe and got us a 5th placed Prem finish, having played for the team in its heyday also.

We have many heroes, let's celebrate them properly and get them in and around everything!

** We all follow Ipswich, when they're down and when they're upppp **

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