‘He will be looking down and desperately hoping we get that win’ - Hurst wants Blues to do it for Beattie
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Paul Hurst knows his Ipswich Town side will need to put in a special performance on what is sure to be an emotional evening at Portman Road, as everyone connected with Ipswich Town remembers the great Kevin Beattie.
The Blues legend, regularly voted the best player in the club’s history, passed away at the age of 64 on Sunday after suffering a suspected heart attack in his sleep.
A minute’s applause will be held prior to this evening’s game with Brentford, in which the Ipswich players will wear black armbands to remember a man who played such a big role in Sir Bobby Robson’s Town sides of the 1970s and 80s.
MORE: ‘I’m not thinking that’s out of the realms of possibility’ – Hurst on whether his job may come under pressure“It would be a fitting evening to win because I’m sure, due to his relationship with the football club, he would be looking down and desperately hoping we will get that win,” Hurst said.
“He wouldn’t be thinking it’s for him, but it would be nice to get that victory and then dedicate it to someone who is so special to this football club.
“I’ve heard the news yesterday and I’ve read the articles online and I know what a legend at the football club he was and will still be remembered that way – and rightly so,” Hurst said.
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“I didn’t know him personally but I understand how well thought of he is. The club’s best player, that’s what I understand him to be, and that says an awful lot about him given the other players who would come into that thinking at Ipswich Town.
MORE: Hurst has mystery injury doubt ahead of Brentford visit as Blues boss ponders changes“That shows what a player he was. He’ll be sadly missed by everyone connected to Ipswich Town.
“I think naturally you look into people like that when you become part of a football club and its proud history. He sits right at the top of that and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
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“We need the three points, that’s obvious against very tough opposition, but it would be very fitting if we could get a win on a special night.
“I’d like to think there will be a good turn-out to pay tribute to Kevin Beattie alone, with maybe a different feel initially at the game, but it’s the first midweek game under the lights which can be very special. We’ll need a special performance because of who we’re up against.”
Hurst has also backed calls for a permanent memorial to Beattie outside Portman Road.
“I haven’t been here long but I’ve seen how some of the special people in Ipswich’s history have been commemorated here and I think that would be a fitting gesture,” he said.
MORE: Tributes flood in after Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie dies aged 64“I’m sure that’s something that will be looked into if it hasn’t been already.
“Listening to the views of fans already it’s clear just what a special talent Kevin was and how highly thought of he was.”
Speaking yesterday, midfielder Cole Skuse insisted ‘The Beat’ would be in everyone’s thoughts when they take to the pitch to face the second-placed Bees.
“It’s been a really tough one for everyone involved at the club to take. I was sitting at home with Chambo yesterday when the news came through. I can’t say I knew Kevin personally but even before I signed for Ipswich I’d heard of The Beat.
“He had such a presence about him, played around 300 games for the club and he has been voted the best player to ever play for the club, which is an absolutely amazing achievement in itself. I can only pass on our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.
“What he and many others achieved for this club in the past should inspire us and not overawe us.
MORE: On this day in Town history: UEFA Cup wins, a five-goal thriller and much more!“Ipswich is quite a small place and it’s geographically challenged in that it’s not the easiest place to get to, so when you look back on Beat’s time as a player and see what that team achieved you realise how massive an achievement it was.
“You can only credit them for that and I know Beat played a massive part in that. For someone of John Wark’s stature to acknowledge Beat as the best of all time says it all I suppose.
“I’m old but not old enough to have watched him when I was growing up. He was a little bit before my time but I’ve seen clips from the club’s heyday so I know what type of player he was.
“The first three points for us this season would be massive but to do it in honour of Beat would be even better. We will be doing everything we can as a club to honour him and as far as the players are concerned we want to get a win and dedicate it to him.
“I’m sure Chambo will mention him in the huddle. We want to win for Beat but we need the three points as quickly as possible. We don’t want to still be chasing them a few more weeks down the line.”