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Dutch legend Thijssen back in Ipswich for statue appeal - with two special events planned

PUBLISHED: 16:49 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 13 May 2019

Thijssen in action for Town against Aris Salonika in the UEFA Cup in 1981
Picture: Archant

Thijssen in action for Town against Aris Salonika in the UEFA Cup in 1981 Picture: Archant

Former Ipswich Town star Frans Thijssen has told how he is looking forward to returning to Suffolk this weekend for two special events for the Kevin Beattie statue appeal.

Ipswich and England legend Terry Butcher will join Thijssen for the event at The Dove in Ipswich on May 18    Picture: RACHEL EDGEIpswich and England legend Terry Butcher will join Thijssen for the event at The Dove in Ipswich on May 18 Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The Dutch legend will be at a gala evening at Greshams Ipswich on Friday night.

And then, on Saturday, May 18, he and fellow Town hero Terry Butcher will be sharing anecdotes with fans at The Dove in Ipswich, in a special event hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy.

Starting at 3pm, it will last for around an hour, before the FA Cup Final is screened at the pub.

It will cost just £5 to get in (tickets on the door), with all the proceeds going to The Beat Goes On appeal fund. It promises to be a fantastic afternoon of nostalgia for Town fans.

All smiles from Kevin Beattie at his Testimonial match at Portman Road in 1982All smiles from Kevin Beattie at his Testimonial match at Portman Road in 1982

Thijssen, 67, who joined Ipswich in 1979 and won the footballer of the year title in 1981, said he was looking forward to visiting the town.

"Of course, it was my best time in my career. It was a very special team, with so many national players.

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"Kevin was a great guy. He was the guy who gave us the nicknames - I was Sam McCloud [US marshal in 1970s TV show] because of the moustache!

Frans Thijssen pictured back at Portman Road in 2015.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comFrans Thijssen pictured back at Portman Road in 2015. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

"He made a very big impression. I have never seen anybody jump so high. He was so strong, he was a powerhouse."

Thijssen still follows the fortunes of the Blues, and is hoping they can bounce back next season.

He said: "It is a pity what happened this season, with a lot of negative results. Hopefully we have enough quality to come back."

Thijssen said Town would need experience alongside the good young players coming through the academy.

Sean Hedges-Quinn, the sculptor of the Kevin Beattie statue  Picture: ARCHANTSean Hedges-Quinn, the sculptor of the Kevin Beattie statue Picture: ARCHANT

The campaign for a statue of Kevin Beattie has now raised around £53,000, towards its target of £110,000.

There are still tickets available for the gala evening at Greshams, visit the website here.

To donate to the Beat Goes On statue appeal visit this website, or send cheques made payable to The Beat Goes On to Kevin Beattie Statue Appeal, EADT, Portman House, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, IP1 1RS.

Tickets for the event at The Dove on Saturday will be available on the door.

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