West Auckland AFC statue to mark Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy win

Image caption,
An artist's impression of how the statue will look

A £184,000 statue to celebrate a County Durham football club winning the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy has been given the go-ahead by the council.

West Auckland Town AFC won the trophy, later dubbed "the first World Cup", in Turin in 1909.

The club then successfully defended the title two years later with a 6-1 victory over Juventus.

West Auckland councillor Rob Yorke and the Friends of West Auckland came up with the idea for the statue in 2008.

Mr Yorke said the group was "delighted" the statue has been approved.

Councillors at Durham County Council's planning meeting unanimously agreed the statue could be erected on the green in the town.

Mr Yorke said: "The statue will be a permanent reminder for future generations of a fantastic achievement by the working men of West Auckland who came up against the best football teams in the world and won not once, but twice.

"The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy truly was the first World Cup and West Auckland's name will be forever etched on this incredible footballing story."

The group has received funding from the Arts Council, West Auckland Parish Council and private sector companies.

The bronze statue, which will be designed by London-based artist Nigel Boonham, will be about 2.5m high and will stand on a 4m plinth.

It is expected to be completed by March 2013.

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