IPSWICH Town legend Paul Mariner is jetting in from America to be part of a Kevin Beattie nostalgia night in Clacton.

The event has been organised by Blues superfan Malcolm Thompson, in honour of great friend Beattie, who passed away in September, aged 64.

'The Beat' is regarded as the greatest Ipswich player of all time and former team-mate Mariner is one of the high-profile names set to attend at The Royal Hotel, on February 26.

Others include greats of yesteryear like Brian Talbot and Eric Gates, while the event - which is being sponsored by the Professional Footballers' Association - will be hosted by Sky TV reporter Stuart Jarrold, who previously covered Town for Anglia TV.

"The fact Paul is flying in from the States says a lot about how much Kevin was loved by his peers," said Thompson.

"It should be a wonderful night of football fun - an emotional evening of nostalgia and fundraising and one not to be missed.

"There will be stories about the great man and a chance for fans to win prizes, with a giant raffle and auction being held to raise funds for Kevin's wife, Maggie, who sadly suffers with Multiple Sclerosis.

"Kevin was my childhood hero from the terraces and in later years he became a dear friend, who I miss dearly.

"I miss our football chats on the phone most Friday nights.

"Sometimes they went on into the early hours of the morning.

"And with the club in such a mess at the bottom of the Championship table, I miss his honest and sometimes brutal opinions about what's going on at Portman Road.

"It'll be nice for one evening to remember the days when Ipswich were a truly great club, full of internationals, winning trophies and playing at a packed Portman Road.

"It'll be a fantastic night with lots of stories, including a tale about Kevin riding around the team hotel on a police motorbike on the morning of the FA Cup final!

"Above all, I just want to do Kevin proud by giving Town fans a chance to say goodbye the way he would have wanted - laughing, crying, having a few beers and talking football."

All proceeds from the evening will go to Maggie, who depended on Beattie as her carer, and entry is £5, which includes a free souvenir programme, courtesy of Clacton Printers.

The raffle prizes include watches, vouchers, champagne, beer, wine, whisky and vodka, while items up for grabs in the auction include signed Ipswich, West Ham and England shirts, a signed Arsenal football, a snooker cue signed by all the top players, a signed Micky Flanagan DVD and tickets to watch Essex Cricket Club.

To book tickets, make a donation or place an advert in the souvenir programme, email Malcolm via malcolmthompson10@outlook.com or call 07743 171773.

* One lucky Town fan has the chance to win a ticket to the evening, along with an Ipswich shirt and a book about the club's Football League championship success in 1961-62.

To be in with a chance, simply answer this question: What is Kevin Beattie's middle name?

Email your answers to malcolmthompson10@outlook.com.

Entries must be in by Friday, December 28.