SUFFOLK FA have paid their own tributes to Kevin Beattie following the death of the former Ipswich Town defender.
Beattie, who still lived in the town, passed away in the early hours of Sunday. He was 64.
Born in Carlisle, Beattie joined Ipswich Town in 1971 and went on to play under Bobby Robson during one of the most successful periods of the club’s history.
Beattie won just nine England caps, but would have won many more but for a series of injuries which cut short his career.
He was a member of the 1978 FA Cup winning side and played in the side that won the UEFA Cup in 1981, although he missed the final after breaking his arm and did not play for the club again.
Suffolk FA Chairman Phil Lawler said: “So sorry to hear of the passing of a true legend of Ipswich Town and Suffolk football.
“Kevin gave so much time and commitment to football in Suffolk.
“He will be missed by everyone involved in football throughout the county.
“Our thoughts are with his family.”
Suffolk FA Marketing & Communications Officer Nick Garnham said: “As a youngster growing up I was fortunate to watch Kevin throughout his career at Ipswich Town.
“He was my idol during my teenage years and I subsequently met and interviewed him during my time working as a journalist locally.
“More recently, I enjoyed his company while sitting alongside him on BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s A Pitch programme, reminiscing about games he appeared in and players he played with and against.
“Kevin always came out on top in polls to find the club’s greatest-ever player – he truly was a legend and will be sorely missed by all who knew him and our condolences go out to his family and many friends.”
Ipswich Town will hold a minute’s applause in memory of Beattie before Tuesday night’s Sky Bet Championship match against Brentford at Portman Road.