Photo plea to honour sporting heroes

10 Jan 2019 09:56

Dozens of sporting heroes are set to be honoured alongside Bolton’s greatest icons, but they need your help make it happen.

For the first time since 2010, new faces are to be added to the Spirit of Sport sculpture in Middlebrook to mark their contribution to sporting life in Bolton.

Some 75 sports stars have been chosen to feature alongside the likes of Nat Lofthouse and Amir Khan on the 86ft monument which stands alongside the University of Bolton Stadium.

But while a great deal is known about their sporting achievements, some of the names on the list do not have an accompanying photograph.

Now Bolton Council and their partners are calling for the public to submit their own images of the nominees, so they can take their rightful place alongside the town’s greats.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Culture and Sport, Cllr John Byrne, said: “Over the years we have received hundreds of suggestions for new additions to the Spirit of Sport sculpture and these nominees are truly deserving of this recognition.

“Unfortunately, we do not have images of everyone selected and sadly some of those on the list are no longer with us.

“We are hoping that friends, family and former teammates will be able to track down photos so that we can do justice to these local sporting heroes.”

Unveiled in 2005, the Spirit of Sport features hundreds of images etched onto mirrors.

Among the new names set to be immortalised are cricketer Frank Tyson, skier Lauren Cooper and wrestling legend Jimmy Niblett.

Fellow newcomers include Bolton Wanderers favourite Kevin Davies and tripled gold medal winning Special Olympics cyclist Keira Byland.

The Spirit of Sport features athletes of all ages from a wide range of disciplines and is designed to mark the achievements of everyone from professional athletes to community volunteers.

The costs of the additional installations is funded by the continued sponsorship of the Emerson Group.

Cllr Byrne added: “The Spirit of Sport is an iconic landmark and a fitting tribute to our town’s many great sporting achievements.

“Whether it’s Olympic gold medallists or local youth team coaches, every one of those featured has shown the same passion, dedication and teamwork that make Bolton special.

“Behind each of those represented on the Spirit of Sport are hundreds of others who have supported, encouraged and helped sport in Bolton.

“It is a tribute to all of Bolton’s sporting community.”

Photos can emailed to or sent by post to Phil Lamb, Growth & Regeneration, 3rd Floor, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU.

All physical copies of photos will be returned to the owner.

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