Our close relationship with German club Fortuna Dusseldorf has just got a lot closer! They kindly donated another 500 quid to The Kevin Beattie Statue appeal. This is a very admirable thing to do and once again emphasises the bond of friendship that exists between the two clubs. Our German Counterparts are flying these days in the Bundesliga and we are seemingly going in the opposite direction, but this has done nothing to dampen the love between the clubs.
A few years ago I had the good fortune to visit the club when Town played there is a pre-season friendly. I was amazed at how much some of their supporters knew about Ipswich Town football club and of course season they assemble around January for their annual pilgrimage to Portman Road! They are a great bunch of people and I am now always looking out for their results in Germany with renewed enthusiasm.
Ulli Munsterberg, who was mainly responsible for organising affairs in Germany, explained that he over-estimated the cost of the coach journey to Meppen and consequently, after consulting with all the Fortuna travelling fans, decided to make another contribution to the Beat Goes On Statue; having already donated 600 pounds on their last visit to Suffolk early this year! Ulli explained that this was not just about the close relationship that is enjoyed by both clubs but also because The Beat made them feel so welcome when they made the trip over to the UK.
Friedrich Schacht, who is another regular visitor to Ipswich explained their thinking when he said, ” It is great that we also have a chance to make a contribution to the statue – so when we come to Ipswich, we can all look at it, and know that we played our part.” I am sure our Kev would agree. He was not only a great footballer but one of the bravest too and this accounted for many of the injuries he incurred, in his short life as a top-class footballer. A statue for arguably the best defender to wear an Ipswich shirt is surely a fitting tribute.
F.W. editor of Vital Ipswich