'Unmissable night for fans' - Blues legends to join gala evening for Beattie statue appeal
PUBLISHED: 06:00 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:43 30 April 2019
Ipswich Town legends will gather for a special black tie gala to celebrate the life of Kevin Beattie - with a limited number of tickets going on public sale today.
The event at Greshams, in Tuddenham Road, Ipswich, is the biggest fundraiser yet for the appeal, which will see The Beat immortalised with a statue in Portman Road.
Already confirmed to appear are many former Town stars, including Terry Butcher, Frans Thijssen, Russell Osman, George Burley, and Simon Milton – and it's set to be an unmissable evening for fans.
What is the appeal for?
It will be raising funds for our appeal, The Beat Goes On, which is a joint initiative between the EADT/Ipswich Star, BBC Radio Suffolk and the TWTD website to honour Town's greatest ever player following his sudden death last September at the age of 64.
Sean Hedges-Quinn, the sculptor behind the statues of both Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey, has been commissioned for the work.
Today, we can also announce the amount raised has now passed the £50,000 mark, which also includes the donation of the plinth. The target is £110,000.
The event at Greshams on May 17
Hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy, there will be many former Town stars and officials at the event, who will be sharing stories and anecdotes on stage.
And come ready to bid on some wonderful auction lots – including some incredible money-can't-buy prizes and memorabilia.
Mark Calver, who owns Greshams and is on the campaign committee, said: “We are proud and delighted to host this amazing night to celebrate the life of Ipswich Town's greatest ever player.
“Kevin Beattie was an inspiration, a wonderful footballer and someone who made the town his own since arriving here as a 15-year-old.
'At Greshams we have the facilities, staff and experience to make this a night to remember for all the right reasons. We will welcome in excess of 250 people to our Willow suite which will be turned into a football stadium for the night. There will be surprises, fun, laughter and tears on what is sure to be a very emotional night.”
Mick Parker is masterminding the event, and he said: “We are honoured that Kevin's family, led by Kevin's wife Margaret, will be with us and the majority of Kevin's team mates will be with us to recall those halcyon days with lots of interviews, video material and images.
“Of course, the purpose of the evening is to raise funds for the statue of Kevin, all profits from the evening will go directly to the appeal funds.”
He said a key element of the night would be the Grand Auction, which will feature several wonderful lots.
There will also be a 'Silent Auction', internet-based, so that bids can be made throughout the evening, even by those not at the event.
'Be a part of something very special'
Mark added: “We all have our memories of Kevin, and this evening will be a unique opportunity to bring together that wonderful squad that competed so brilliantly in bringing home the FA and UEFA cups. There probably won't ever be another opportunity like this to be part of an incredible evening, full of emotion and celebration. I would urge any Ipswich supporter to be part of something very, very special.”
“We have less than 50 tickets left. Come and enjoy a wonderful meal, in great company at an event we're never likely to see the like of again.”
How to book tickets