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Bid to complete West Brom celebration statue

FOR ALMOST six years Jim Cadman has been working with a small group of volunteers to raise £220,000 for the 10 foot bronze Celebration Statue to be erected, and take pride of place, in West Bromwich.

The Statue will be a permanent tribute to the work done by the late Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson in breaking down the racial barriers in football during the early 1980s.

The group have already had support from Sandwell Council, the Professional Footballers Association, The Football Association, The League Managers Association, Kick It Out, the West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club, Laurie Cunningham’s family, WBA Former Players Association, businessmen in the Black Country and the fans of West Bromwich Albion who follow the team in good times and bad.

Cadman told the Voice of Sport: “We have also had the enormous personal support of Cyrille Regis – who had worked with us closely since 2012 on developing the statue - from initial drawings to the creation of a maquette and on to the sculpting of a full size clay model.

“Cyrille even took pride in showing a model of the Celebration Statue to Martin Luther King III at Wembley Stadium. However, in spite of all of this we remain just £38,000 short of our target. To help us reach this we have created a crowd funding site.

“The tragic death of Cyrille Regis has devastated everyone involved with the Celebration Statue project – but it has also created a new sense of purpose. We now want to try and complete the Celebration Statue before the April 25 to mark a very special 40th anniversary.

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“This was the date when Cyrille, Brendon and Laurie started a game for West Bromwich Albion together for the first time - a 3-1 victory over Everton at The Haw- thorns during Albion’s centenary year.

“Graham Ibbeson has confirmed that he can complete the remaining work required on the statue in two months - but before he can start we will need to raise the final £38,000 foundry costs. We are tantalizingly close and the individual components have already been cast in bronze but they still need to be welded together in the foundry, fine finished before the statue the before it can be installed,” added Cadman.

The Celebration Statue will be a permanent tribute and a lasting legacy - not only to Cyrille – but to Laurie and Brendon - who led the fight against racism in football 40 years ago while playing at the heart of a West Bromwich Albion team lauded throughout the land for its exciting brand of creative attacking football.

Visit: www.crowdfunder.

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