Archive for the ‘Football Statues’ Category

John Greig

Football Statues No 45 (in a series of several): John Greig (1942 -)

John Greig spent his entire playing career with just the one club. Between 1961 and 1978 he made in excess of seven hundred appearances for Glasgow Rangers (the majority of them as captain) and scored over a hundred goals. Perhaps his most notable achievement came in 1972 when he led the side to their first ever European trophy success, Rangers beating Moscow Dynamo 3-2 in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Greig’s years at Ibrox coincided with a period of Celtic dominance but he still managed a pretty decent haul of five Scottish Championship medals, six Scottish FA Cup winners’ medals, four Scottish League Cup winners’ medals along with the medal secured after the ECWC win. Twice voted Scottish Footballer of the Year his move into management with Rangers between 1978 and 1983 yielded a further two Scottish FA Cup and two Scottish League Cup victories.

Picture from here.

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Geoff Hurst, Jimmy Armfield and Simone Perrotta

Football Statues No 44 (in a series of several): Geoff Hurst (1941 -), Jimmy Armfield (1935 -) and Simone Perrotta (1977 -)

Located outside the Roy Oldham Sports Village in Ashton-under-Lyne this triple bronze statue commemorates the three footballers from the Greater Manchester Borough of Tameside to have won World Cup winners medals. Geoff Hurst is the most obvious one as England’s 1966 World Cup Final hat-trick hero, but Jimmy Armfield and Simone Perrotta? Jimmy Armfield passed the England captains armband over to Bobby Moore before the 1966 tournament but despite not playing in any games qualified for a winners medal as part of Alf Ramsey’s 22 man squad. Simone Perrotta, with AS Roma since 2004, and a World Cup winner with Italy at the 2006 finals in Germany, was born in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1977 where his Italian parents ran a pub in Ashton but returning to Italy when Simone was just 6.

Picture from here.

Johnny Haynes

Football Statues No 43 (in a series of several): Johnny Haynes (1934 – 2005)

Haynes became the country’s first £100-a-week player, debuted for England at just 19 years of age and spent the whole of seventeen year Football League career with just the one club – Fulham. He went on to play 56 times for his country (scoring eighteen times) and made 594 league appearances for the Cottagers (scoring 146 times) between 1952 and 1970.

Considered to be one of that era’s best passers of the ball the high regard in which he was held can be measured by AC Milan’s offer of £80,000 – turned down by Fulham of course – that would have made him the world’s most expensive player. He lost his life in a car crash on the day of his 71st birthday.

The Grade II listed, Archibald Leitch designed, Stevenage Road Stand was renamed the Johnny Haynes Stand in his honour in 2005 and this statue, located in front of that stand, was unveiled in October, 2008.

Michael Joseph Jackson

Football Statues No 42 (in a series of several): Michael Joseph Jackson (1958 – 2009)

As a guest of Fulham owner and Chairman Mohammed Al-Fayed Michael Jackson was paraded in front of Fulham fan’s prior to the two-nil defeat of Division Two promotion rivals Wigan in April 1999. Just a day or two shy of a dozen years later a statue of the singer, commissioned in the wake of his 2009 death, was unveiled at the ground in somewhat controversial circumstances.

Controversial in that only one other person has been honoured in such a way at the Cottage and that was the legendary Johnny Haynes who had a statue in his honour unveiled at the ground in October 2008. Haynes played 594 league games for the club in stark contrast to Jackson’s single appearance at the Cottage.

The Haynes statue admittedly occupies a prominent position on Stevenage Road, in front of the Grade II listed Johnny Haynes Stand, while Jackson’s statue is tucked away in the north west corner of the ground between the Hammersmith End and the Riverside Stand, but nonetheless it has proved to be far from popular with supporters.

The Jackson statue was originally earmarked for a site at Harrods, not the Cottage, but Al-Fayed having sold his ‘corner shop’ in May 2010 came up with this as a plan B.

Hugh McIlmoyle

Football Statues No 41 (in a series of several): Hughie McIlmoyle (1940 – )

This statue of Hugh McIlmoyle was unveiled on 31st July, 2005 to commemorate the centenary of Carlisle United. In addition to celebrating McIlmoyle’s exploits at Brunton Park (he scored 76 times in 171 matches during three different spells with the Cumbrian’s) it also acknowledges the part that all of the club’s players, supporters and officials – past and present – have played in its history.

One of eleven children McIlmoyle was born in Port Glasgow and it was while playing for Port Glasgow Juniors that he was spotted by a scout, subsequently signed for Leicester City and began what would be a long and eventful career in football south of the border. He picked up an FA Cup finalists medal with the Foxes in 1961 before joining Rotherham United a year later and then Carlisle United for £5,000 during the 1962-63 season. The following campaign he broke the clubs goal scoring record netting 44 goals and soon the bigger clubs came a knocking.

He joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in a £30,000 deal in 1964 scoring 45 times in a century of games before Bristol City paid a club record £27,000 for his signature in 1966. However, his stay in the south-west was short lived and he was soon back in Carlisle for his second stint. His strike rate continued to impress the monied clubs and this time Middlesbrough came in for McIlmoyle. A £55,000 transfer to Ayresome Park was pushed through very much against his wishes and he failed to settle in the north-east. After threatening to quit the game he was transferred to Preston North End in 1971.

He returned to Carlisle for the third and final time in 1974 and during a brief stint at Greenock Morton, back in his native Inverclyde, he played his last professional game a year later aged 35.

Many thanks to David Instone at www.wolvesheroes.com for the picture.

Dr Ferenc Springer

Football Statues No 40 (in a series of several): Dr Ferenc Springer (1863 – 1920)

Dr Ferenc Springer was, in 1899, the founder, and first chairman, of Budapest side Ferencvárosi Torna Club, or FTC for short. Hungary’s most popular club side, FTC moved to the Ulloi Ut in 1911 and it is between the goal and stand at the eastern end of the stadium that a plinth in Dr Springer’s honor was erected. The statue that sits atop the plinth is of a naked athlete, and both are all that now remain of the original stadium.

The gentleman pictured in front of the statue is Albert Florian, after whom the stadium was renamed in 2007. Florian was European Footballer of the Year in 1967 and made 339 league appearances (scoring 245 goals) for FTC between 1958 and 1974.

Picture from here.

Stadio Comunale World Cup Memorial

Football Statues No 39 (in a series of several): Stadio Comunale World Cup Memorial, Turin, Italy

Erected to honor the exploits of the Italian national team of the 1930’s – who won back-to-back World Cups in 1934 and 1938, and gold at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin – this memorial statue was, at one time, located just a matter of yards away from the Stadio Comunale in Turin.

This picture is from the 1990 edition of Simon Inglis’ The Football Grounds of Europe but it appears that the statue may well have been moved to another location since (an exhaustive search of the web has failed to prove or disprove this). The stadium itself began life in 1932 as the Stadio Mussolini, later becoming the Stadio Comunale and, after reconstruction for the 2006 Winter Olympics, the Stadio Olimpico di Torino. It now plays host to Seria A side Juventus and Torino of Seria B.