Suffolk

Kevin Beattie: Fans line street for Ipswich Town star's funeral

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Media captionPortman Road was packed with fans for the funeral procession

Crowds lined Portman Road in tribute to ex-England and Ipswich Town star Kevin Beattie as his funeral took place.

Applause and chants of "there's only one Kevin Beattie" broke out as the cortege passed the statue of Beattie's former Ipswich boss Sir Bobby Robson.

A private service for family, friends and former teammates was held at Seven Hills Crematorium in Ipswich.

Beattie is widely considered by fans and former players of Ipswich Town to be the club's best-ever player.

Image caption The hymn Abide With Me was part of the funeral service

The funeral procession briefly stopped at the statue of Sir Bobby, opposite the Cobbold Stand at the Portman Road stadium, as a crowd of about 1,000 looked on.

Beattie, 64, known as The Beat, died last month from a suspected heart attack.

His coffin was draped in a blue shroud with a number six shirt, the number he wore, on it.

Image caption Fans clapped, cheered and sang "there's only one Kevin Beattie" as the funeral procession passed
Image caption Beattie's famous number six shirt was placed on his coffin

The club had invited fans to pay tribute to Beattie at Portman Road alongside members of club staff.

Many members of Town's 1978 FA Cup-winning side attended the private funeral, including goalscorer Roger Osborne, George Burley, Brian Talbot, Mick Mills and John Wark.

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Media captionTributes were paid to Beattie - a "football giant" - ahead of his funeral

They were joined by Laurie Sivell and Ian Collard, who played alongside Beattie in the 1970s.

Members of the 1981 Uefa Cup-winning team, including former England captain Terry Butcher and Eric Gates, were also there to pay their respects.

Image caption Floral tributes were placed on Sir Bobby Robson's statue

Other people linked with the club also attended, including ex players Jamie Clapham and Mick Stockwell, former chairman David Sheepshanks, current caretaker manager Bryan Klug and ex manager's secretary Pat Godbold.

The Barbara Streisand song Evergreen was played at the start of the service, followed by a tribute delivered by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Beattie, back row with arm raised, won the FA Cup with Ipswich Town in 1978

The hymn Abide With Me was also included, along with a poem called The Passing of a Footballer, by Michael Ashby.

The service concluded with a photo montage accompanied by the Luther Vandross song Dance With My Father.

Image copyright Mark Murphy
Image caption Kevin Beattie was also a regular on BBC Radio Suffolk

Hundreds of supporters have signed a book of condolence in Beattie's memory.

The 'complete footballer'

Image caption Kevin Beattie continued to live in Ipswich after his retirement
  • Born in Carlisle, Beattie moved to Ipswich when he was 15, going on to make 296 starts for the club and scoring 32 goals.
  • Sir Bobby Robson, who died in 2009, said Beattie was the "best defensive player that this country has produced".
  • Beattie's career was hampered by injuries and it was all but over when he left Ipswich at the age of 28.
  • He featured in the film Escape to Victory, with his skills shown on the pitch for Michael Caine's character, and the two became friends.
  • After he died, Beattie's teammate and former England captain Terry Butcher described him as "the complete footballer".

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