KEVIN BEAT­TIE

(1953-2018)

World Soccer - - The World -

De­spite be­ing de­scribed by for­mer na­tional boss Bobby Robson as “the best English player he had ever seen”, in­juries re­stricted the de­fender to just nine in­ter­na­tional ap­pear­ances for his coun­try, scor­ing his only goal in a 5-1 thrash­ing of Scot­land in May 1975. An FA Cup win­ner with Ip­swich Town, he was also widely recog­nised as their best player of all time.

Born in Carlisle, the 15-year-old Beat­tie was in­vited down to Liver­pool to meet man­ager Bill Shankly, but when no­body from the club turned up to meet him at Lime Street sta­tion the young­ster turned round and caught the first train home – an out­come that the An­field boss later ad­mit­ted was as one of the big­gest mis­takes of his ca­reer.

Liver­pool’s loss was, how­ever, Ip­swich’s gain, and af­ter mak­ing his de­but for the Port­man Road side at 18 he went on to play more than 300 games for the club. A mem­ber of the side that beat Arse­nal 1-0 in the 1978 FA Cup Fi­nal, he missed the 1981 UEFA Cup Fi­nal through in­jury but was later pre­sented with a win­ner’s medal in 2008.

His last game for Ip­swich was an FA Cup semi-fi­nal against Manch­ester City in April 1981 dur­ing which he broke an arm. He re­tired at the age of 28 af­ter five knee op­er­a­tions in four years, mak­ing a very brief come­back with Colch­ester United, Mid­dles­brough and a cou­ple of Scan­di­na­vian sides.

He was later em­ployed in the me­dia and worked for BBC Ra­dio Suf­folk up un­til his death.

Thrashed...scor­ing against Scot­land

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