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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Kevin Beattie: Liverpool’s loss was Ipswich Town’s gain....But sadly, an injury-plagued career

PUBLISHED: 17:14 16 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 18 September 2018

Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie. Picture: OWEN HINES

Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie. Picture: OWEN HINES

Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie was born in 1953 and made 307 appearances for Ipswich Town.

A young Kieron Dyer and Kevin Beattie. Picture: DAVID KINDREDA young Kieron Dyer and Kevin Beattie. Picture: DAVID KINDRED

He scored 32 goals for the Blues, was an FA Cup and UEFA Cup winner and most impressively he was, as a Town player, PFA Young Player of the Year 1973/74 – the first winner of the award.

Born in Carlisle on December 18, 1953, Beattie joined Town in July 1971, although it was almost Liverpool he went to.

Much closer to his Carlisle home than Ipswich, as a 15-year-old, Beattie had been invited to discuss terms with Bill Shankly at Anfield.

Arriving at Lime Street Station and with no-one there to greet him and with no money in his pocket, he simply jumped on the first train home.

Sir Bobby Robson and Kevin Beattie with the replica FA Cup, at a celebratory dinner several years after the 1978 final Picture: LUCY TAYLORSir Bobby Robson and Kevin Beattie with the replica FA Cup, at a celebratory dinner several years after the 1978 final Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

However, Liverpool’s loss was Ipswich Town’s gain, leaving Liverpool supremo Shankly to admit years later, he missed out on a top player.

Beattie joined Ipswich Town in July 1971, Bobby Robson giving him his senior debut in August 1972 in a 2-1 win at Manchester United, aged just 18.

Robson nicknamed Beattie “Diamond” by his Ipswich manager Bobby Robson because he felt his scouting system had unearthed a real gem!

It was just two years later Beattie was given his full England debut, April 16, 1975 in a 5-0 win against Cyprus, aged 21.

Beattie’s third cap (of nine) saw him score his only goal for his country.

A rampaging run from left-back at Wembley Stadium he charged forward to join a Kevin Keegan-inspired counter attack and headed his cross over Scotland keeper Stewart Kennedy as England destroyed the Auld Enemy 5-1 in the Home Internationals.

But knee injury continued to plague Beattie and his final England appearance was against Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifer on October 12, 1977. England won 2-0.

Back at Portman Road and despite injury, Beattie was forming a thunderous central defensive partnership with Allan Hunter as Ipswich Town under Robson became a force in English football.

In 1978 Ipswich Town won the FA Cup, their first major trophy since the Division One title in the 1961/62 season.

But injury continued to plague him and he missed out on the 1981 UEFA Cup final against AZ 67 Alkmaar, although he received his winners medal in 2008, following a petition that he should have one.

His final game for Ipswich Town was on April 11, 1981 when Town crashed out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage against Manchester City, weeks before the UEFA Cup final. Beattie broke his arm in the game.

He retired from the game in December 1981 but later returned to play for Colchester United, Middlesbrough, Harwich & Parkeston, Sandvikens IF, Kongsberg IF, Nybergsund IL-Trysil and Clacton Town.

Continually voted Town’s best-ever player in numerous polls, Beattie died, in the early hours of Sunday morning, aged 64.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst says there will be times he had to abandon his ideals, but that he is very clear about how he wants his team to play in the long run.

Grant Ward believes he is a good fit for Paul Hurst’s style of play at Ipswich Town but knows he needs a runs of game if he is to perform at a consistently high level.

Mike Bacon looks back on a week of such sadness with the loss of Ipswich Town’s greatest-ever player, Kevin Beattie

Mark Heath, Stuart Watson and Andy Warren fill in the blank on some big Ipswich Town topics.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst has thanked supporters for sticking with him and the team following a nine-game winless start to the season.

Mark Heath, Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back to discuss the latest goings on at Ipswich Town.

Paul Hurst has been impressed with the form of goalkeeper Dean Gerken since the 33-year-old was brought into the side in place of Bartosz Bialkowski.

In this week’s Ipswich Town nostalgia, we look back to March 16, 2013, when skipper Carlos Edwards netted a late minute winner to see the Blues to a crucial 1-0 victory over Bolton at Portman Road.

In our new daily feature, we take a look back at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town history.

One of Ipswich Town’s greatest ever players was honoured with a testimonial match at Portman Road in 1982 for his service for the football club

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