Beattie Statue Campaign Hits Target
Tuesday, 27th Aug 2019 07:00
The Beat Goes On, the campaign to raise funds for a statue of Blues legend Kevin Beattie, has hit its target after only eight months, it can be announced today.
Former Town and England centre-half Beattie, widely viewed as the club's greatest ever player, died in September last year aged 64.
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 - what would have been Beattie’s 65th birthday - with the initial aim of raising £110,000.
Donations quickly flooded in from fans and a number of events - some organised by the committee but many instigated by fans - helped boost the coffers, while MC Contracts and Ridgeons are donating the plinth in kind.
The appeal was pushed past its target by a spate of donations over the last couple of weeks, including one fan’s remarkable pledge of £6,500.
Brad Jones, editor of the EADT and Ipswich Star, who chaired the committee, said: “The fact we’ve hit the target so quickly shows how much people want to see this happen.
“Thank you to everybody who has made a contribution - every penny has made a difference. Ipswich Town fans have once again proved their class. I must also thank the campaign team, who have done a brilliant job.
“We always felt it was appropriate for the fans to be the driving force behind it – and that’s been the case.
“We saw that in action only a few weeks ago when a collection outside the ground raised nearly £6,500, which was then matched by Marcus Evans.
“I can’t wait to see the statue in place, and every fan who contributed will be able to say they helped to make it happen.”
BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy, a member of the committee, who has hosted many of the fundraising events, added: “I, like everyone, was devastated at the sudden death of the Beat. The day before he died I was broadcasting Life’s a Pitch on BBC Radio Suffolk with him and he seemed fine.
“Twenty-four hours later I received the news that he’d passed away, I was rocked to the core.
“A statue of him from the fans for the fans is a fitting tribute to our greatest ever Ipswich Town player.
“The fact that the fans have stumped up the cash so quickly is a testament to how much they loved him and I can tell you he loved them with equal measure. I think it’s brilliant news.”
TWTD editor Phil Ham, a committee member and fellow member of the Life’s a Pitch team, added: “Virtually all the cash raised - including some very substantial individual donations - has come from fans, which I think is fitting and illustrates how fondly Beat is remembered by Town supporters both locally and further afield. The statue is very much a ‘people’s project’.
“Similarly, lots of his old team-mates have played their part, appearing at events and helping to raise funds in tribute to the man most believe was the best player during the club’s greatest era.”
Blues season ticket holder Sean Hedges-Quinn, known as coach, is the man who has already begun work sculpting the statue having been behind those of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson at Portman Road.
The statue will stand on Portman Road just along from Beattie’s mentor Robson towards Planet Blue.
A small contingency fund will be needed for the project, so events already planned will be taking place, including a Proper Golf Day featuring Town legends at Hintlesham Hall on Friday 13th September. Tickets are available from the Greshams Ipswich website.
Any surplus funds will be used in connection with the project, potentially on improved landscaping.
The Beat Goes On Committee
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