Ipswich Town legends pay their tributes to The Beat at statue event

Town legends

Brian Talbot, Roger Osborne, Mick Mills and John Peddelty at the statue unveiling. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

It was like a Who's Who of Ipswich Town's glory days of the late 70s/early 80s when Kevin Beattie's statue was unveiled in Portman Road on Saturday.

Many of his team-mates turned out to watch Emma Beattie uncover the statue of her father - the player dubbed the greatest Ipswich Town star by Sir Bobby Robson.

Kevin Beattie statue reveal in Portman Road PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Russell Osman, Terry Butcher, John Peddelty, Allan Hunter, Steve McCall, Roger Osborne, Mick Mills, Brian Talbot and John Wark - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Allan "Big Al" Hunter was his regular partner in the back four and the two were dubbed "bacon and eggs" by Robson after their performance in the 1978 Cup Final.

Big Al said: "I never knew which of us was bacon and which was eggs. But what a fabulous player he was. It was brilliant to play with someone as good as that beside me."

The two men's characters were different, but they got on very well together on and off the pitch. "He could be an idiot in the dressing room, but he was a really lovely man," he added.

The Hunter/Beattie partnership was eventually superseded by the Russell Osman and Terry Butcher who were back together for the unveiling.

But both agreed that "The Beat" had had a huge influence on their careers.

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Butcher said he had watched Beattie as a youngster and he had helped inspire his career - and the two ended up playing together quite often.

Osman said: "It was not a case of us suddenly coming in and replacing them (Beattie and Hunter). There were four of us and we'd play alongside each other for several seasons until the two of us became the regular partnership."

Mick Mills. Kevin Beattie statue reveal in Portman Road PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Mark Murphy interviews Mick Mills on stage - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

And Beattie's captain, Mick Mills, echoed Sir Bobby's assessment of his colleague: "He was the best player at the club. But he suffered badly with injuries.

"Some people come back quickly, some need to give it more time. Maybe he didn't always take as long as he should to come back. But he was a great player and a wonderful man."

John Peddelty was his one-time stand-in, and was at the ceremony with FA Cup hero Roger Osborne. Peddelty said: "He was a natural. He was just so skilled, he didn't need to train and develop all the skills all rest of us did, he could just do it. We had to work very hard to get anywhere near that."

Osborne agreed: "He just came along to training, did what he did and was brilliant at it and got on with it. He was very relaxed about it. I think he'd have been the same if he was a bricklayer or whatever. He just got on with his job!"

Russell Osman. Kevin Beattie statue reveal in Portman Road PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Russell Osman and Mark Calver, of MC Contracts, who provided the construction work for the project. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND


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