Carlisle United Football Club was saddened to learn of the passing of Carlisle-born footballer Kevin Beattie on Sunday morning.
Beattie, 64, was identified as a footballing talent by renowned local scout John Carruthers as a young boy and made the move to Ipswich Town at the tender age of just 15-years old.
He progressed quickly through the youth ranks with Ipswich and made his debut against Manchester United, in 1972, before going on to be described as England’s best defender by Sir Bobby Robson.
He scored 32 goals in 296 appearances for Ipswich and is consistently voted by their fans as their best ever player.
Although he never played for United, he had a brief stint working for Roddy Collins as a scout and would often give advice at that time on defending strategies and defensive coaching methods.
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “There’s no doubt he was a Carlisle United fan. He always came to get tickets so he could bring a group of people to watch games with him when he was up here visiting family, and he was keen to know how we were getting on whenever we spoke to him.
“He was with us when we played Bristol City at the Millennium Stadium in 2003 and you could tell he was delighted to be there. The major part of his life and career was with Ipswich Town but Carlisle United were never too far out of his thoughts.
“He was one of those young lads identified by local scout John Carruthers as a real talent – Steve McCall and Paul Simpson also fall into that category – who were then sent down to Ipswich for trials.
“Paul was the only one to turn Bobby Robson down, he obviously chose Manchester City, but Carlisle certainly provided Ipswich with some excellent players at that time because of the links with John, and obviously his eye for spotting players.”
The thoughts of everyone at Carlisle United are with his family and friends at this time.