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Beattie Statue Unveiling Date Set
Friday, 3rd Dec 2021 06:00

The long-awaited unveiling of the statue of Blues legend Kevin Beattie will finally take place on Saturday 18th December, what would have been the former England international's 68th birthday, ahead of the home game against Sunderland.

The finishing touches have added to the statue over the last few months, the project having faced delays - as well as increased costs - due to the pandemic.

Fans raised the cash for the statue in double-quick time after a campaign led by the East Anglian Daily Times/Ipswich Star alongside BBC Radio Suffolk and TWTD following the former England international’s death in September 2018, aged 64.  

The ceremony will be attended by Beattie's family and former team-mates, sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn - previously responsible for the Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson statues - as well as those who played a part in making the project happen. 

Fans are also invited to join the unveiling, which will take place between 9.30am and 11am ahead of the game against the Black Cats.

Brad Jones, editor of the EADT, who has led the campaign committee, said: “It will be a special moment to finally unveil The Beat's statue in front of what we hope will be thousands of fans. It's the fans who made this happen. 

“It's taken a massive community effort, and this will be a fitting memorial. It is an amazing statue, an action pose of The Beat leaping for a header, and it really captures his power and athleticism in his prime.”

BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy, who is on the campaign team and presented Life’s a Pitch alongside Beattie and another committee member, TWTD’s Phil Ham, will host a live outside broadcast from 9.30am on the day of the unveiling and will be the master of ceremonies. The unveiling itself is expected to happen at around 10.15am.

Road closures will be in place in Portman Road and Alderman Road for safety reasons and people are advised to find alternative places to park if driving into the town centre.  

The event will end at 11am to avoid potential disruption in the hours immediately before the game against Sunderland, which is expected to attract a near sell-out crowd.

The statue of Beattie will stand in Portman Road, diagonally opposite Planet Blue, on land provided by Ipswich Borough Council. The council has commissioned the statue and has played a key role in bringing the project to fruition with funding supplied through the campaign. 

Work has been taking place on site for the last two months with statue committee member Mark Calver, of MC Contracts, building the plinth itself in kind, with materials donated by Ridgeons. 

The East of England Co-op has also generously donated the stone cladding and stonemasonry work to the project through HL Perfitts, one of the Co-op's family of businesses, saving the campaign a major cost. 

Jones added: “Without the amazing support we've had from Mark Calver, Ipswich Borough Council, in particular Roly Arbon, and the East of England Co-op, this would've been so much harder to get over the line.

“A huge thanks must go to them, and everyone who has played a part in making this happen. Every penny donated has helped.”

Photo: EADT

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CraigEdwards added 06:25 - Dec 3
What a fitting tribute to the best player ever to wear the shirt and on our biggest home attendance for many a year. Hopefully we will do you proud beat 💙

Steelmonkey added 08:05 - Dec 3
CraigEdwards I echo those thoughts and feel privileged that I was able to see the Beat play in his prime, such a shame his career was cut short through injury. My favourite town player of all time, I’d like to think we could have another eleven players like him grace Portman Road again.
He was the best.

markchips added 08:56 - Dec 3
My favourite player ever.

If only Toto could soar like an albatross. And so we are where we are.

Upgrade next month please Paul and shift out the deadwood. There is a good reason why Norwood and Jackson are currently scoring- they need to make themselves attractive to potential suitors.


muccletonjoe added 10:06 - Dec 3
Always had time for everyone. Now it's our turn Beat.

Razor added 10:31 - Dec 3
I hesitate to say this but do we have a corner left fot Marra!?

BlueRuin69 added 10:32 - Dec 3
Unbelivably good! TWTD!

jong75 added 10:50 - Dec 3
Kevin Beattie was in a box with us when England played at Portman road when Wembley was being rebuilt. We were in the bext box along to the Beckham family. After the game David Beckham came up to meet his family, looked across to where we were and sent one of his team to ask is that Kevin Beattie as David would like to meet him. At the time David Beckham was the most famous footballer in the world, yet here he was asking to meet Kevin Beattie. It just shows what a player Beattie was. A fitting tribute to a great footballer and a genuinely good guy. RIp Kevin.

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