Beattie's dying wish

IPSWICH Town legend Kevin Beattie has revealed his dying wish - to have his ashes scattered over his beloved Portman Road.

Nick Garnham

IPSWICH Town legend Kevin Beattie has revealed his dying wish - to have his ashes scattered over his beloved Portman Road.

The former defender, who is arguably the club's greatest ever player, is settled in Ipswich and plans to carry on living in the county until he dies.

Beattie, who was born in Carlisle and is now aged 54, said: "The people of Suffolk are so genuine once you get to know them. I love Suffolk and I will never, ever move away.

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"I was 15 when I came down here. I have spent so many years here. If it wasn't for the people of Suffolk what would I have done?

"When the big man up there decides that my time has come I want my ashes scattered on Portman Road in the four corners of the ground - north, east south and west - just to say The Beat is still here."

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The ex-England star, who lives on the town's Chantry estate with wife Maggie, and has three daughters and six grandchildren who all live within two miles, continued: "I just hope they can let me do that. If they can divide my ashes up and place them in the four corners of the ground that would be special."

Beattie, who has consistently been voted Ipswich Town's all-time greatest player by the club's fans, including polls in both the East Anglian Daily Times and sister paper the Evening Star, won only nine international caps in an injury-plagued career.

He has had many highs and lows since his career was cut short by injury more than 25 years ago, but was recently told he is to receive a UEFA Cup winner's medal after missing the 1981 triumph because of a broken arm.

A petition started by Rob Finch, the author of the recently-published book The Kevin Beattie Story, has been successful in getting the agreement of UEFA president Michel Platini to strike a medal specially for him.

Beattie has also recently been inducted into the club's Hall of Fame, along with other Ipswich Town legends John Elsworthy, Jimmy Leadbetter and Frans Thijssen.

* Don't miss Kevin Beattie talking about the 1978 FA Cup final in the latest in our series The Legends of '78 in Monday's EADT.

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