West Ham’s Champions sculpture set for Olympic Stadium move
PUBLISHED: 11:53 23 December 2015 | UPDATED: 14:56 23 December 2015
It’s a sight familiar to Hammers fans, and now the Champions sculpture is set to join the club in relocating to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The 16ft bronze statue, which celebrates England’s World Cup win in 1966, currently sits near the Boleyn Ground.
But if agreed by all the organisations who contributed to its funding, it will take up a new home outside the Olympic Stadium ahead of West Ham’s summer move.
Councillors backed plans to make the sculpture – which depicts Hammers stars Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters plus Everton’s Ray Wilson celebrating the win – the showpiece of a new Champions Place.
The area will also include a walkway of dedications to Hammers legends and around 20,000 granite stones engraved with fans’ names, the proceeds of which will help to cover the cost of moving the statue.
The landscaped area will also be home to the Olympic Bell rung at the start of the 2012 Games.
Cllr 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.”
The sculpture, designed by Philip Jackson, was unveiled by Prince Andrew in April 2003.
Councillors have also agreed to develop plans to improve the Barking Road junction where it currently stands, and will look at the possibility of incorporating a new sculpture into the design.
The council will seek funding from Transport for London and other sources for the work, which it aims to complete by 2019.