Work on the Celebration Statue is nearing completion and plans are in place for the ten foot bronze statue to be unveiled in New Square, West Bromwich on Wednesday, May 22.
The Celebration Statue – created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson – represents ‘art in action’ as Laurie Cunningham, Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson celebrate a goal being scored.
The statue, however, symbolises more than just one goal – it is about the ground-breaking influence the trio had in overcoming racist taunts and prejudice at football grounds throughout England. They responded to this prejudice in style by playing attractive football, scoring spectacular goals and winning matches.
The location of Celebration Statue is also of great significance as it will be sited in the heart of a multi-cultural community where it will be seen by a large audience with around 200,000 people visiting the New Square Shopping Centre on a weekly basis.
Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor OBE said: “The PFA has been determined to get this important tribute to “The Three Degrees” over the line and mark their great contribution to football and equality for time immemorial.”
Jim Cadman, who has led the campaign for the Celebration Statue, added: “Cyrille, Laurie and Brendon were true pioneers of the game who made genuine football history in West Bromwich. The Celebration Statue will convey passion, strength and achievement to a global football audience and support the fight to remove all aspects of racism from our beautiful game.”
“I would like to thank Gordon Taylor and the PFA for their support over the past six years and also record our thanks and appreciation for the contributions made to this project by Sandwell Council, The Football Association, The League Managers Association, The New Square, Kick It Out, the 1979 Club, the West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club, WBA Former Players Association, businesses throughout the Black Country and dedicated fans of West Bromwich Albion who follow the team in good times and bad,” Mr Cadman added.