IPSWICH TOWN hero Kevin Beattie has died, aged 64.
Beattie is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the club having played for them during their peak years and helped them lift the Uefa Cup.
The defender won nine caps for England, and former manager Bobby Robson once labelled him as the best player from the country he had ever seen.
Beattie had only been working for BBC Radio Suffolk on Saturday appearing in his regular slot for the Life’s A Pitch show.
But he passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning, it has been announced.
Ipswich said in a statement: “We are devastated to hear the news of the passing of Town legend Kevin Beattie at the age of 64.
“The thoughts of everybody at #itfc are with Kevin’s family & friends at this very difficult time.
“The Beat. Thank you.”
He was named the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1973-74, becoming the first winner of the award.
He helped Ipswich win the FA Cup in 1978, and in one of the greatest periods in the club’s history he helped them to Uefa Cup glory in 1981.
But injuries took their toll on Beattie, and he was forced to retire from the game at the age of 28.
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After retirement the Carlisle-born player remained living in Ipswich, and recently it was revealed he was living in a council-owned bungalow where he cared for his wife who suffered multiple sclerosis.
BBC presenter Mark Murphy broke the news of his death today at the request of his family, having only worked together with him yesterday.
Murphy said: “To say I’m devastated is an understatement,” said Mr Murphy.
“He was on fine form on Saturday lunchtime.”