Kevin Beattie: Tributes to 'complete footballer'" width="976" height="549">
Kevin Beattie, back row with arm raised, won the FA Cup with Ipswich Town in 1978
Former team-mates of Kevin Beattie have been playing tribute to the former Ipswich and England defender, who has died from a suspected heart attack.Former England captain Terry Butcher said he was "devastated" by the death of the 64-year-old."He was my hero and my inspiration," Butcher said. "You try to model yourself on him but it was impossible - he was the complete footballer."George Burley, who won the FA Cup with Beattie, said he was "a legend".Beattie moved to Ipswich when he was 15 and went on to make 296 starts for the club, scoring 32 goals. He was a PFA Young Player of the Year, represented England nine times and also won the Uefa Cup under Sir Bobby Robson.
He is widely considered by fans and former players of Ipswich to be the club's best-ever player.
Beattie won nine caps for England
Sir Bobby, who died in 2009, said Beattie was the "best defensive player that this country has produced".Butcher said he used to watch Beattie as a fan and idolised him throughout his career."I used to watch him from the terraces and marvel at his strength and ability," Butcher told BBC Radio Suffolk."He used to hurt people by simple tackles but he wasn't vicious, he was one of the loveliest men you'd meet on the pitch as well - he was a gentleman. But he was strong and wanted to win."
Skip Twitter post by @England
Kevin Beattie, who won nine caps for the #ThreeLions between 1975 and 1977, has died at the age of 64.
Our thoughts are with Kevin’s family, friends and all who knew him.— England (@England) September 16, 2018
End of Twitter post by @England
Beattie's career was hampered by injuries and it was all but over when he left Ipswich at the age of 28."He put his body on the line, and in the end his injuries helped other people, myself included, get in the team," Butcher said. "But you didn't want to get in the team because I just used to love watching him play."He had spring-like legs. His spring and timing was immaculate. When he went up to head the ball, nobody else was going to win it."When he used to shoot with his left foot it was like an Exocet."
Kevin Beattie continued to live in Ipswich, caring for his wife
Beattie was known for his aerial ability and strong left foot
George Burley said Beattie's athleticism and determination to win meant "nobody could play against him"."He was quicker than anybody, stronger; he was fantastic in the air, he had a left foot that was like a sledgehammer - he virtually scored from the halfway line in one game," Burley said."And as a fella, Kev was one of these lads where if anyone was struggling, he'd come help you. If somebody needed
Kevin Beattie was a regular on BBC Radio Suffolk and was on air on Saturday
Allan Hunter, whose partnership with Beattie earned them the nicknames "Bacon and Eggs" from Sir Bobby, said his former team-mate was a "fantastic fella and a fantastic player"."He was the greatest thing I ever played with, and that includes George Best," the former Northern Ireland international said.Mick Mills, who captained the FA Cup-winning side, said Beattie's death was a "desperately sad moment"."There's no doubt we've lost our best player," Mills said. "The team was littered with good players, but I think everyone would say he was our best one."Not only was he a great player, if you wanted someone who was absolutely perfect for the dressing room, Kevin Beattie was your man. He was a laugh-a-minute and if there was any tomfoolery going on, he was part of it."
Skip Twitter post by @SportsBreakfast
"He could sprint like Usain Bolt, he had springs in his heels and a cannon of a left foot... what a player and what a character."

Alan Brazil pays tribute to his former @Official_ITFC teammate Kevin Beattie, who passed away yesterday at the age of 64.#RIPBeat— The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (@SportsBreakfast) September 17, 2018
End of Twitter post by @SportsBreakfast
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