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.”
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