Councillors set clear conditions for Champion Sculpture relocation

23 December 2015 in 2012 Games and legacy and Sport and leisure
Councillors set a number of stringent conditions that must be met before the iconic Champions Sculpture near West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground can move to the club’s new ground in the former Olympic Stadium.
The relocation of the 16-foot bronze sculpture, celebrating England’s 1966 World Cup win, was approved at a meeting of Newham Council’s cabinet on Thursday 17 December but only once conditions have been met.

Councillors agreed that the sculpture could only be moved once a fully funded plan was in place to improve the junction in Barking Road where the sculpture currently stands. This junction has seen nearly 40 accidents over the last five years.

The conditions also included the installation of a piece of public art linking the area to West Ham United and that road improvements and that the costs of relocating the sculpture should be funded by partners.

West Ham United have already agreed to support the costs of moving the sculpture, and the council will seek funding from the Boleyn Ground developers for public art a well as  Transport for London and other sources for junction improvements.

Once all these conditions have been met it will be discussed again by the council’s Cabinet.

The Champions Sculpture was commissioned by Newham Council and West Ham United in 2001. Designed and crafted by renowned British artist Philip Jackson, it depicts England captain Bobby Moore with fellow West Ham players Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters together with Everton’s Ray Wilson celebrating the historic win. Unveiled in 2003, it was also funded by the Arts Council.

It is planned to form the focal part of a new Champions Place which will include a walkway of dedications to the Hammers’ greatest players as well as around 20,000 granite stones engraved with fans’ names, the proceeds of which West Ham will use to cover the cost of moving the statue.

The landscaped area will also be home to the Olympic Bell rung by Sir Bradley Wiggins at the start of the 2012 Games.

Councillor Ken Clark, cabinet member for building communities, public affairs, regeneration and planning, said: “This is an iconic sculpture showing West Ham's key role in one of this country’s greatest sporting successes. There is a strong case for it being relocated, but we must not ignore the area it will be moving from. Before the sculpture is moved, we must be assured that appropriate junction improvements and West Ham United’s history at the Boleyn Ground will be commemorated.”