The Jack Leslie Statue – Sculptor Announced!
Exactly one year after the launch of our Crowdfunder appeal, the Jack Leslie Campaign are delighted to announce the sculptor for a statue of Jack Leslie, to be situated outside Plymouth Argyle’s stadium, Home Park.
After careful consideration, including thorough interviews of the four shortlisted candidates, the Campaign can now confirm the successful artist as……
Andy Edwards is a renowned sculptor, with a wealth of experience in delivering iconic sporting statues.
Examples of his work include:
-the acclaimed “Clough/Taylor” statue at Derby County’s Pride Park
-the Notts County legends Jimmy Sirrel and Jack Wheeler at Meadow Lane
– the highly regarded sculpture of Stanley Matthews at Stoke City.
You can see more examples of his work at https://www.cornoviiedwards.com
Andy’s work also includes statues of The Beatles, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and civil rights campaigner and slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Andy works primarily in Liverpool, but he has pledged to use web-cams and social media to document his progress.
This means that supporters of the Crowdfunded statue can watch its progress, wherever they are in the world.
Andy will be visiting Plymouth shortly to look at the location, meet the Campaign Committee and, of course, to take in an Argyle match.
Andy’s tender for the Jack Leslie statue project was made in partnership with Monumental Icons, https://monumentalicons.com/.
But this is very much a personal project for Andy and one that inspires him greatly.
On hearing the news of his selection, Andy said, ” I am eternally grateful and very excited to have been chosen to work with the devoted members of the Jack Leslie statue group, the proud fans of Plymouth Argyle Football Club and the wider football community in furthering all of our appreciation of a real legend of the game, and a man whose story can still affect change nearly 100 years on. I hope to create a statue of peerless quality celebrating excellence, that will also represent respect, dignity, devotion and invigorate the quest for equal rights for all. To everyone who has given their support and backing to this initiative, I will not let you down.”
Campaign co-founder Greg Foxsmith said “We are delighted to give Andy this commission, but we would also like to thank all of the shortlisted artists who spent so much time and energy on creating such brilliant proposals. It made it really difficult for us to make the final decision”
Jack’s granddaughter Lesley said “We love the range of ideas, and we look forward to working with Andy to see a statue that is an accurate portrayal of Grandad”
Campaign co-founder Matt Tiller said “ we have been impressed with Andy’s portfolio, his artistic vision, and his commitment to the project. Together with the team at Monumental Icons, we are confident that Andy will deliver an outstanding statue and a lasting legacy for Jack Leslie”
The campaign will now be reaching out to companies and businesses in the South West, with commercial sponsorship opportunities for an accompanying film of the project, landscaping, lighting, and enhancing the statue’s surroundings. All sponsors will be recognised on the statue plinth.
Jack signed for Plymouth Argyle from Barking in 1921 and scored 137 goals in his 13 years with The Pilgrims. The pinnacle of his career should have been in 1925 when Jack was selected to represent England in a game versus Ireland, but his name was removed from the team sheet when officials discovered that he was black. (See Jack’s story)
The Jack Leslie Campaign was set up in 2019 by a couple of Argyle fans (Matt and Greg) who had learned of the story, and they were soon joined by a diverse team of volunteers .
The Aims of the Campaign:
- To raise funds for and build a statue of Jack Leslie at Home Park, Plymouth
- To promote and share Jack’s story.
- To celebrate diversity and combat racism.
History of the Campaign and Commissioning Process
On 1st July 2020 the Campaign launched a crowd-funded appeal, eventually raising over £100k.
In December 2020 we threw out an invitation to prospective sculptors to express an interest.
In February 2021 we began commissioning: https://jackleslie.co.uk/news/statue-competition-started/
In March 2021 the committee, together with Jack’s grand-daughters, Lynn Gill and Lesley, reviewed the initial submissions. They were blown away by the quality, imagination and scope of the proposals, before drawing up a long list and eventually a short-list of four finalists https://jackleslie.co.uk/news/statue-sculptor-shortlist-announced/
Crowdfunder appeal is still live, and you can support us here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/jack-leslie-campaign