March 10 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Let’s give Kevin Beattie, Ipswich Town’s greatest player, a rip-roaring 60th birthday tribute at Portman Road on Saturday.
“We used to nickname him ‘the monster’. He had phenomenal pace, was the hardest tackler I ever saw and could jump higher than anyone.
“Without all those injuries he would have been England centre-half for years and years.
“He’s a happy-go-lucky guy with a big heart who would help anybody.”
“When I arrived at the club as a schoolboy in 1974/75 I immediately realised what a phenomenal player he was.
“He was quicker than anyone else, stronger than anyone else, could jump higher than anyone else and hit a ball harder than anyone else. He was unbelievable.”
“With due deference to the many other great players who have graced the Ipswich Town badge over the years, I think Kevin has to go down as the greatest of them all.
“Those of us who are old enough to have seen him play can count ourselves lucky. It’s hard to explain to younger fans just how good he was.
“My abiding image is of him coming off the bench in a European match against Bohemians Prague and, with his first touch, hitting a 30-yard free-kick so hard past the goalkeeper that it virtually wedged itself in the top left stanchion. It was one of those spine-tingling moments that lasts with you forever.”
We’re calling for the whole crowd to give Beattie a minute’s applause, in the 60th minute, to recognise his landmark birthday, which he celebrated earlier this week.
Beattie will be at the game against Watford, and a tribute from Town fans will be the best possible birthday gift – it will mean a huge amount to him.
The idea was launched on Twitter last night, and has already been enthusiastically welcomed by many Town supporters.
EADT/Star editor Terry Hunt, a Town fan of 45 years who watched Beattie play, said: “This is the perfect opportunity to show The Beat just how much he still means to us. Town supporters have regularly voted him our best-ever player, and those of us lucky enough to have seen him in action agree 100pc with that.
“As we all know, his career was cut short by injury, and he’s had a few ups and downs since being forced to retire, but he has settled in Ipswich and still takes a passionate interest in the fortunes of his beloved Blues. Let’s show him how much we still love him.’’
We’re asking all Town fans at the game to join in – and please help us to promote the idea. Use #Beattie60 on Twitter.
There will be a special 60th birthday tribute to Beattie on Mark Murphy’s Life’s A Pitch show on BBC Radio Suffolk on Saturday.
Mark will be joined by Beattie’s former team-mates Alan Brazil, Eric Gates, Arnold Muhren and Franz Thijssen, who will pay their own personal tributes to Ipswich Town’s greatest-ever player.
Life’s A Pitch is on BBC Radio Suffolk between noon and 2pm on Saturday.