A statue of Carlisle football legend Kevin Beattie has been damaged just four months after it was unveiled.

Skateboarders have been blamed for the damage to the plinth on which a likeness of Botcherby star Beattie stands in Ipswich.

Those behind the statue say they are upset and angry about the damage, while officials have pledged to restore it.

The statue of Beattie was unveiled in December outside Ipswich Town's Portman Road stadium.

It is a tribute to the Cumbrian who is widely regarded as Ipswich's greatest player of all time.

Reports in Ipswich saw the front of the plinth has been smeared with grey marks, with an edge also badly chipped.

News and Star: A Facebook post about the damage to the plinthA Facebook post about the damage to the plinth

The statue was built after a major community fundraising appeal.

Brad Jones, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, told the latter: "Everybody in the community who contributed and played a part in making this happen will feel really upset and angry about this. I certainly do.

"It shows a complete lack of respect, and is so frustrating after all the hard work that went into the project."

Ipswich Council leader David Ellesmere told the Star that the authority would be looking at installing a low-level barrier to prevent a repeat of the damage.

"That statue means so much to so many people, we have to make sure it is kept safe," he added.

The statue, made by sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, was unveiled at a ceremony in December by Beattie's daughter Emma.

The Carlisle-born footballer, who died in 2018 aged 64, played for Ipswich from 1972-81 and earned nine England caps during his time at the club.

READ MORE: WATCH: Ipswich Town unveil statue of Carlisle football legend Kevin Beattie