A new statue built in honour of the late Don Revie will be unveiled in Leeds in Autumn 2011. Although there’s no confirmation as to where the statue will be located, the sculptor, Graham Ibbeson has already made a start on the tribute and those responsible for the idea are progressing quickly.

TSS emailed those behind the fundraising efforts for more on the fundraising and received plenty of information back from the chairman of the Don Revie Tribute, Jim Cadman.

What instantly struck me was the professionalism with which the fundraising efforts are being undertaken. This isn’t just your average fans initiative heavy on desire and love, but lacking in organisation and the necessary know how. Instead, what we have is an experienced fundraiser and sculptor working together with the backing of Leeds City Council and Leeds Civic Trust who are determined to ensure the project is a success.

Although no money has yet been raised, the artist’s studio has already been located and he will begin work on the statue in clay. The Don Revie Tribute have underwritten the cost of the initial work to get things moving as quickly as possible.

Attention will now turn to the fund raising efforts and a host of events featuring Leeds United players past and present. The events confirmed so far include a Theatrical Tribute to Don Revie and a Gala Dinner at Elland Road, with players from Don Revie’s team invited as honorary guests. The group also plan to release a special one-off tribute magazine featuring tributes from his former players and closest friends.

The total amount required for completion of the statue is £90,000, but the fundraising won’t stop there. Any surplus funds raised from the events will be used to fund a ‘Don Revie Research Project’ into the Motor Neurone Disease which Revie suffered from in later life.

Alongside the fundraising efforts, the Don Revie Tribute group will also be allowing the local community to watch the sculptor at work. Strictly by invitation only, the Don Revie Tribute will invite school children, art students and supporters to come and see the artist at work in his Leeds studio.

The Scratching Shed will be keeping up with all the latest developments as the statue is created and will keep you updated right here.

Graham Ibbeson

Eric Morecambe by Ibbeson

Graham Ibbeson lives in Barnsley and has completed statues across the country, including perhaps his most famous piece, comedian Eric Morecambe which is pictured right and was unveiled by Her Majesty the Queen in 1999.

Other works completed by Graham include a statue of comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy and one of his most recent works, cricketing legend Fred Trueman which was unveiled in Skipton earlier this year.

Historian and writer, Brian Elliot said the following of Ibbeson’s work;

“No, I’m not comparing Ibbeson to Michelangelo (I can hear Graham laughing in the background) but his creations mean more to me. They make me laugh. They make me think, and I must admit several of his mining commissions make me cry. Isn’t that what good art is all about? Graham’s devotion to capturing the spirit of the people appears in all his sculptures which is why they communicate so well with ordinary folk. His work is in many private collections and public museums around the world but many also serve as highly accessible public art sited in public places for all to enjoy”

You can see more of Graham’s work on his website here.

Don Revie

What appeals to me most about the project is the chance to relive and celebrate Don Revie’s wonderful achievements again. His impact not only on Leeds United FC, but the city of Leeds as a whole can’t be underestimated. The club honoured their greatest ever manager when renaming the Kop, but a statue is something long overdue.

Although not born and bred in Leeds, Revie became an adopted child of the city. He brought success and fame to a northern city where before there was little to celebrate. He made Leeds United not only a household name, but a name that was feared throughout all Europe. The statue will stand as a lasting tribute to all that he achieved and what he means to the people of Leeds.

Jeff Powell, Chief Sports Feature Writer, Daily Mail;

Throughout what became known as the club’s Golden Years, Leeds played some of the most wondrous football ever seen in this motherland of the game. They also reinforced their flowing talents with the fiercely competitive challenges which were born of an iron will to win. Their critics, especially those who envied their success, protested against their aggressive commitment to victory. With hindsight, it can be seen that Revie was pioneering all over again. Just as The Revie Plan in his time as a player with Manchester City took the blinkers off English tactics, so he laid the foundations for the Premier League football we witness today, a furious game in which even the most refined skills can only prevail if they come driven by physical courage.

  • Andy

    As a Leeds fan since the mid 70’s, I never actually saw a game whilst Don was the boss, but nevertheless, his achievements mean everything and should rightly be honoured by a statue….in fact if it was up to me, Lowfields Road would be renamed as Avenue of Legends and the whole street down to the subway would be lined with statues, all lit at night, how awe inspiring would that be ? – We could even have the whole Revie squad stood together at the end….the cost would be a fair bit but this would not have to be completed overnight.
    As for the Revie statue, lets have it at Elland Road…I’m not from Leeds and like lots of fellow Leeds fans from outside
    the city, only ever really see the Elland Road area on our trips to the city, so rather here than somewehere in the city centre.
    Andy, Rotherham

    • Mark R

      Ditto.

      Nice one Andy.

      Just sent my post in, then read yours.

      MOT

  • Can we personally donate?, my son wants to donate his pocket money (£5)& i will match it..Would love to see Don revie`s statue next to billys. We all owe him that for what he did for this magnificent club

    • TSS

      You’ll be able to donate through the various fundraising events. Maybe the magazine will be the perfect way for your son to contribute?

  • Mark R

    I like the idea of a Revie Statue. Liverpool have one of Shankly at Anfield, Nottingham one of Clough.

    I’d like to see something like a Leeds United Legends walkway at the stadium which would have statues of significant personalities in our history. Billy B., The Don, and in fact for me the rest of Don’s great team as well…perhaps leading up to a multi media LUFC Museum .

    Or maybe this kind of thing can be housed in the stadium complex ?

    We have to make more of our history and heritage – sing it out loud and proud.

    MOT

  • leeds lad

    A long overdue testimony to a great man….. Only a pity it was not a joint statue with Billy Bremner years ago.

  • Cheers..the magazine sounds the best way to conribute, will struggle to attend fund raising events, living and working in Wales but will try our best to get to elland rd. Cheers TSS

    • TSS

      No problem. I’ll use the site to announce the fundraising events fans can participate in, in due course.

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  • yorkwhite

    I’ll never forget the plaintive song that the Leeds fans used to sing during the late 1970’s

    Don Revie went over the oceans,
    Don Revie went over the seas,
    Oh bring back Don Revie to England
    Oh bring back Don Revie to Leeds.

    I guess in sentiment at least the cry will be fulfilled by the Don’s statue; a well deserved and long overdue tribute to the man who made Leeds United what it is.

    Thanks Don for the childhood memories that no one can take away. RIP and MOT

  • White to the core

    A fitting tribute to a truly great man. To many younger fans Revies leeds, that i grew up with as a wee lad on the terraces are but a thing of folklore. A golden age that deserves to be immortalised. I only hope that news of leeds being hit by a new tax bill due to master bates’ offshore accountancy are not true. Because as is being speculated ,with no assetts to pillage this time all we will be left are memories of a great city that once played home to one of the worlds greatest clubs. God i hope this cant be true? Can it?

  • public enemy

    a statue to don revie would be amazin but i would like to see it with some of his great players in it at the same time a tribute to the don yes but a tribute to his great team too i know it costs money but if we can get a REMASTERED???????????????????????? M O T IN THE CHARTS WE CAN HELP FUND A GREAT STATUE TO ARGUABLY SO FAR THE GOLDEN ERA OF LEEDS UNITED

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  • Jacinda Toupe

    Nice post. I like your blog.