Champions Statue to remain in Upton Park after meeting to discuss its future is cancelled

Junction of Green Street and Barking Road, Upton Park - Champions statue at the junction.

Junction of Green Street and Barking Road, Upton Park - Champions statue at the junction. - Credit: Archant

Bobby Moore is staying put - for now.

A discussion on the future of the Champions Statue, in Upton Park, had been listed for discussion at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

That meeting has now been cancelled, meaning the current administration cannot vote on whether to move the statue or not.

Councillor Veronica Oakeshott, who has been involved with the campaign for more than two years, said she was “delighted”.

“The legal advice I’ve got is that a decision cannot be made now we’re in purdah [the pre-election period],” she added.

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And it seems that no matter who is elected next month, the statue is likely to remain in place for at least the next four years.

Labour’s mayoral candidate, Councillor Rokhsana Fiaz, has previously pledged to keep the statue where it is should she get elected, saying: “The statue is a proud piece of history. It would not be right to move it.”

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Conservative candidate Rahima Khan is also in favour of keeping the statue, saying: “West Ham may have relocated to Stratford, but football remains a key part of Upton Park’s heritage and the statue must mark it forever.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Gareth Evans said that his party backed keeping the statue. He added: “With the new stadium, there is an opportunity to explore other ways of celebrating the glorious history of West Ham.”

Frankie-Rose Taylor, convenor of the Newham Green Party, lives near the statue and said: “100 per cent it should stay where it is.”

The future of the Champions statue, which was unveiled in 2003, has been under discussion since December 2015, with opinion divided as to whether it should move with the club to Stratford or remain in its original place, at the junction of Green Street and Barking Road.

Those in favour of the statue staying have said that Moore and his West Ham team-mates - including Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, who also feature in the statue - should remain in Upton Park, close to where they played.

Hundreds of locals and West Ham fans alike signed a petition to keep the statue, which depicts former England captain Moore holding aloft the World Cup trophy after the famous 1966 victory, in its original place.

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