03.25.07

On The Bright Side, There’s No Statue of Ken Bates

Posted in Football at 3:28 am by

While the Steve McLaren Era was once again marked by England failing to score — this time, a 0-0 draw with Israel in a Euro 2008 qualifier — Sunday’s Observer considers fan unrest… in Southampton.

A bronze statue of former Saints footballer and manager Ted Bates was removed yesterday just days after it was unveiled outside the club’s St Mary’s ground.

The statue became the object of derision from the Championship club’s supporters, who raised more than £45,000 towards the £112,000 cost of the figure. They called it an insult to Bates’s memory and complained that his arms were too long, his legs too short and his head too big. Some said it looked like former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric, or the comic character Wee Jimmy Krankie. The club said a new statue would be needed if it could not be altered. The statue was erected by the Ted Bates Trust in tribute to the man who served Southampton for 66 years before his death in 2003.

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