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Beattie Statue Set to Be Unveiled
Friday, 17th Dec 2021 18:36

The long-awaited unveiling of the statue of Blues legend Kevin Beattie will finally take place on Saturday morning on what would have been the former England international's 68th birthday.

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.

It was lifted into place on Thursday but under cover ahead of Saturday when it will be formally revealed to the world by Beattie’s daughter Emma.

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.

Among the VIP guests will be Beattie's family, sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn - pictured below and 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.

Beattie’s team-mates Terry Butcher, a member of the statue committee, Alan Brazil, Bryan Hamilton, Allan Hunter, Steve McCall, Mick Mills, Tommy O’Neill, Roger Osborne, Russell Osman, John Peddelty, Brian Talbot and John Wark will also be among the VIPs, along with former skipper Luke Chambers, ex-chairman David Sheepshanks, current chairman Mike O'Leary, CEO Mark Ashton and American investors Berke Bakay and Mark Detmer.

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

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.”

Interim manager John McGreal met Beattie on a number of occasions during his time as a player at the club in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“Going back to the Premier League days, he was around the games,” he recalled. “I think he was doing a lot of commentary as well. If you didn’t see him at the ground, you heard him on the commentary.

“It’s a brilliant occasion for The Beat, a fantastic player for the club and it’s going to be highlighted with his statue, which is fantastic.

“And that’s the thing about the club, the club does do a lot of good things. The fans are part of that as well.”

BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy, who was 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 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 the Black Cats, 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.”

The club are supporting the unveiling with the FanZone open at an earlier time of 10.45am ahead of the game against Sunderland.

Photos: Sean Hedges-Quinn/EADT

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midastouch added 19:34 - Dec 17
"Heroes get remembered, but legends never die."

stocktractor added 22:10 - Dec 17
Luke chambers…why

Godzilla added 22:33 - Dec 17
Well done all, so great to have him permanently 'back' at Portman Road .

Karlosfandangal added 23:49 - Dec 17

Because he played under 5 different managers as Captain for 9 years and made 396 appearances and is 9th in the most appearance for Ipswich Town.

PortmanTerrorist added 08:50 - Dec 18
Can we not get petty on here. This and today are about The Beat and remembering the player and the person. Many of us met him, was not hard being around Town and life was not always easy for him, but ITFC was always his anchor and the statue is fair recognition of what he gave us in return.

I have said this before but met Sir Bobby when he released his autobiography in which he has the Beat in his top 3 players ever coached....I asked him honestly if he really was up there and Sir Bobby told me that if his head was not so big already, he would have earnestly put him at number 1. All I ever needed to know. RIP Legend

midastouch added 10:01 - Dec 18
Great post at PortmanTerrorist. I read one of Sir Bobby's books and he said Kevin was one of the best ever players he ever managed. And the other one he picked out was Ronaldo from Brazil. That's how highly he rated Kevin Beattie. Of all the players that ever played under him the 2 he picked out as being the best were Kevin and Ronaldo.

DifferentGravy added 10:49 - Dec 18
Too right Midastouch - brilliant player.....and to be picked out alongside El Phenomenon (the original and considerably better and more skillful Ronaldo) just shows what a compliment it was. Well deserved.

Lengendary status isnt just earned by the number of appearances you make. it isnt being an average player in a side that gradually slides down the leagues and fails to lay a glove on Norwich throughout your leadership.

Count_Arthur added 11:19 - Dec 18
Was McKenna or any of the current squad at the unveiling / ceremony? What better way for the new manager to get to know the club and it's history than at today's event

johnwarksshorts added 11:36 - Dec 18
Had the privilege of seeing the Beat play and boy could he play, fantastic runs with the ball out of defense into the oppositions half and a bullet shot, fantastic header of the ball. Let's hope town do him proud today.

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