A few weeks from now one of the greatest football men to grace this county, city and its leading football club will be rightly honoured.

A civic ceremony will make Ivor Broadis a Freeman of Carlisle and not before time, when you consider his extraordinary life and achievements.

Ivor, from the Isle of Dogs, settled in this community and the honour has been ours to have someone of his standing among us.

The only shame is that it has taken until Ivor's 96th year for such justified recognition to be passed his way.

One wonders, too, if it would not be time for a fresh salute - which would again be sadly belated - to be made in the direction of Kevin Beattie.

The mind has drawn a blank when attempting to make a convincing case for someone other than Beattie to be regarded as the best player to be born and grow up in these parts.

Beattie was recognised by the city of Carlisle when in his pomp but the week of his death, aged 64, makes one ask if the great defender cannot be posthumously appreciated, too.

To be regarded by Sir Bobby Robson as the finest English footballer of his generation appears qualification enough for a lasting memorial.

It is so in Ipswich, where a campaign for a statue of Beattie is under way.

We should never be slow to acclaim our finest here, either. To allow names and reputations to drift quietly into the past is to allow history to be eroded, yet Beattie was a giant of our sport and should never be forgotten as such.