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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Carlisle-born football star Kevin Beattie in false benefits scam

A former England football defender from Carlisle – once dubbed the new “Bobby Moore” – has admitted falsely claiming benefits.

Kevin Beattie, 58, won nine caps for his country in the 1970s and was part of Sir Bobby Robson’s golden era at Ipswich Town.

But Ipswich magistrates heard the FA Cup winner was now living off “extremely limited means” and acting as a full-time carer for his wife who suffered from multiple sclerosis.

Beattie, who grew up on Carlisle’s Botcherby estate, was ordered to stay in doors between 10pm and 6am for 12 weeks on a curfew order after admitting falsely claiming almost £9,000 by failing to inform the Department of Work and Pensions that he had begun work as a pundit for BBC Radio Suffolk.

Defence solicitor Lucy Osborn told the court he had jumped at the opportunity in 2008 as he missed being involved in the game on a day-to-day basis.

Addressing the court, she added: “You may or may not know that he is an ex-footballer. Sadly his career was cut short in 1983 but at one point he was described as the greatest player to ever play for Ipswich.

“Football has been and remains the love of his life and he saw this as a wonderful opportunity.

“He saw the money as expenses for helping out.” She added the injury which caused his retirement still restricts his mobility and causes “great discomfort”.

The court heard he was paid £45 for Saturday matches and £75 for weekday matches by the BBC.

Prosecutor Claire Furlong said that had he declared this income, his income support would have been stopped or reduced. Magistrates Debbie Langton said that because an agent had arranged the work, he knew it was more than a voluntary position.

She ordered he pay £50 in prosecution costs.

Beattie played 228 games for Ipswich and also had stints with Colchester and Middlesbrough along with semi-professional teams in Scandinavia.

He missed Ipswich Town’s 1981 UEFA cup final through injury.

He did not comment as he left court.

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