Suffolk

Ipswich Town: Work on Kevin Beattie statue to start

The design of the statue in honour of Kevin Beattie Image copyright Sean Hedges-Quinn
Image caption Sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn has designed the statue of Kevin Beattie

Work can start on a statue in honour of former England and Ipswich Town footballer Kevin Beattie, project leaders said.

The central defender, considered one of Ipswich's greatest players, died from a heart attack in September, aged 64.

More than £20,000 was raised at a gala night on Friday, which has taken the total to £80,000.

Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times (EADT) editor Brad Jones said it was a "really big moment".

The cost of the statue was originally estimated to be about £110,000, but project organisers said it could end up being less than that, and they have now got enough to press ahead in the confidence the costs can be covered.

The fundraising campaign, called The Beat Goes On, was started in December by BBC Radio Suffolk, where Beattie was a regular contributor, in conjunction with the local newspapers and the TWTD website.

Sean Hedges-Quinn was commissioned to design the bronze statue to be positioned outside Ipswich's Portman Road stadium - near the sculptor's existing statues of Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson, who both managed Ipswich and England.

Image copyright Mark Murphy
Image caption Kevin Beattie died suddenly on 16 September, aged 64
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The statue of Beattie will be placed on Portman Road, outside Ipswich's stadium

Mr Jones said: "We're not even six months in, and we've already hit this point.

"There's enough there now to basically say to Sean 'off you go'.

"His design for this statue is just something else and it's going to be one of the best statues anywhere."

Image copyright Sean Hedges-Quinn
Image caption Newspaper editor Brad Jones said the Beattie statue will be "one of the best"
Image caption There are already statues of Sir Bobby Robson and Sir Alf Ramsey on Portman Road

The gala night was held at Greshams sports and social club in Ipswich, hosted by BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy.

Ex-Town stars who attended included Terry Butcher, Mick Mills, Frans Thijssen, George Burley, Russell Osman, Simon Milton, Brian Talbot, Roger Osborne, Mick Lambert and John Peddelty.

There were also video messages sent in from Arnold Muhren, Paul Mariner, Alan Brazil and Fabian Wilnis, while Beattie's daughter Emma was also there.

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