First pictures as Kevin Beattie statue unveiled in Portman Road

The statue of Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie outside Portman Road.

The statue of Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie has been unveiled outside Portman Road. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The statue of Kevin Beattie has been unveiled in Portman Road, in front of fans and club legends. 

Crowdfunded by Ipswich Town supporters, it commemorates the player regularly voted the club’s greatest ever. 

The ceremony was attended by Beattie's family, with his daughter Emma unveiling the statue at around 10.15am. 

The statue of Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie has been unveiled outside Portman Road.

The statue of Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie has been unveiled outside Portman Road. Pictured to the left of the statue, left to right: Brad Jones, sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, and Kevin Beattie's daughter Emma who unveiled the statue. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

She said the family loved the statue because it captured Kevin in his younger days when his strength and power made a huge impact to the team.

"It feels very special and I was super excited to unveil it so everyone can see it," she said. 

"Mum has seen it and she is very pleased that it captures him in his early days when he was so strong and fast."

Among the former Town players at the unveiling were Beattie's captain Mick Mills and his central defensive partner Allan 'Big Al' Hunter. The pair were described as "Eggs and Bacon" by Bobby Robson after the FA Cup win in 1978.

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Big Al told the crowd: "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."

Sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, and those who have helped make the project happen were also in attendance, along with hundreds of fans. 

The statue campaign has been led by the East Anglian Daily Times/Ipswich Star, alongside BBC Radio Suffolk and the TWTD website, and was launched after The Beat's sudden death in September 2018 at the age of 64.  More than £110,000 was raised. 

The statue of Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie outside Portman Road.

The statue of Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie has been unveiled outside Portman Road. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Brad Jones, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, who led the statue campaign team, said: “It’s a special day to finally see this fitting tribute to The Beat unveiled. Every Ipswich Town fan who contributed to the campaign, along with local businesses who supported it, should feel proud of this statue. 

“It’s been an amazing community effort.”

BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy, who was on the campaign team, hosted today’s unveiling ceremony.  

Beattie stands in Portman Road, diagonally opposite Planet Blue, on land provided by Ipswich Borough Council, which also commissioned the statue, and played a key role bringing the project to fruition. 

Mark Calver, owner of MC Contracts, built the plinth, while the East of England Co-op generously donated the stone cladding and stonemasonry work to the project through HL Perfitts. 

  • Visit later for more pictures and video of the unveiling. 

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