Friday, April 13, 2007

Football cock-ups. No1. The Ted Bates statue..

I've decided to start a list of the biggest the cock-ups involving association football and there can't be that many bigger than the recent Southampton legend Ted Bates statue debacle.

For those who don't know, Edric Thornton (Ted) Bates MBE made 216 appearances and scored 64 goals for the club, he also managed The Saints, taking them from the old Third Division South right up to the old first division (today's Premiership). He eventually went on to become the clubs managing director and was given the nickname of 'Mr Southampton'.

Ted died in November 2003, and so in recognition for Ted's wonderful service and after months of hard work by the Ted Bates Trust and Southampton, the club unveiled a £112,000 bronze statue of Ted at the entrance to the St Mary's ground.

The statue had taken Ian Brennan, sculptor and Saints fan, 18 months to complete, Ian worked on the statue seven days a week.

All did not go down well though as the statue met with less than approving reviews, it was hopelessly out of proportion and to some fans, worst of all it looked like the Milan Mandaric, former chairman of deadly local rivals Portsmouth FC (it is said to be one of footballs' most bitter rivalries). Eventually things got so bad that Southampton removed the statue but the good news is, they will replace it...

Timeline to disaster..


Looking good! Extract from supporters trust: "Ian lifelong Saints fan is meticulous with every detail of the statue even down to the creases in Ted’s shoes that has to be exactly right"





At last it's finished, but all is not well...












Oh hang on... it looks like Milan Mandaric...

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