Former Ipswich Town and England footballer Kevin Beattie has died of a suspected heart attack aged 64.
Carlisle-born Beattie joined Ipswich in 1971 and played more than 200 league games for the club before retiring in 1981 due to an injury that saw him miss the UEFA Cup final that year.
He later came out of retirement and had spells at Colchester United, Middlesbrough and Barnet.
Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie, pictured in 2009, has tragically passed away aged 64
Former centre back Beattie helped Ipswich win the 1981 UEFA Cup but he missed the final
In 2008, he was given a UEFA Cup winners’ medal, almost three decades after Ipswich’s win following a campaign by Rob Finch who ghostwrote his autobiography.
Ipswich lead the tributes to Beattie. The club posted on Twitter: ‘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.’
Defender Beattie was capped nine times by England between 1975 and 1977, scoring one goal
Mark Murphy, a colleague of Beattie’s at BBC Radio Suffolk, had earlier broken the sad news on Twitter.
Murphy wrote: ‘It is with much sadness that I have to confirm the death in the early hours of this morning of my dear friend and @BBCSuffolk co-host Kevin Beattie.
‘Kevin was undoubtedly the greatest ever @Official_ITFC Town player and his family have asked me to make the announcement. #RIPBeat’.
Beattie was capped nine times by England between 1975 and 1977, scoring one goal.
Former Three Lions boss Bobby Robson once said: ‘I would say he was the best English-born player I ever worked with. I could pay him no greater compliment.’