£100,000 fund-raising drive to be launched for Bobby Ball statue in Lytham
A fund-raising target of £100,000 has been set to make a statue of comedy legend Bobby Ball in his adopted home town of Lytham a reality.
The siting of a statue in the town's Lowther Gardens has been approved by Fylde councillors and a public subscription appeal is being launched, with a Just Giving site set to go live next week.
Bobby, who died in October, aged 76, was a patron of Lowther Pavilion, the theatre set in the Gardens, and had performed at the venue many times, including the staging of the first play he wrote, ‘Rock Off Tommy’.
He was also part of the team which spearheaded the first fundraising efforts for the theatre and gardens.
In agreement with Bobby’s family, the statue will be cast in bronze and one and half times lifesize based on his 40th birthday appearance
To fully capture his character which so delighted audiences for so many years, the aim is for the figure to have on leg slightly forward, be slightly pulling on his right brace with his right thumb and have 'a twinkle in his eye',
The £100,000 will cover the costs of casting the statue in bronze and preparing the plinth.
The statue will be in the Gardens close to the theatre and Bobby's widow Yvonne feels it is the ideal spot.
She said: “A walk and sit in Lowther Gardens was a favourite pastime but always ended up taking longer than anticipated and would turn into a ‘promote Lytham’ exercise, while Bobby happily chatted and let people know how lucky he felt to be living here."
Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley said: "Bobby was a very special, incredibly talented and unique individual who was truly adopted by the locals of Lytham St Annes.
"His lasting legacy of kindness and joy means he will be sadly missed and this statue will ensure he can go on giving that joy to visitors and residents of the area long after Bobby took his final bow and left the stage.
"We believe that Lowther Gardens is the perfect place for Bobby to be remembered and to remain part of the community as well as in our hearts."
Lowther manager Tim Lince said “The whole team at Lowther 100 per cent supports this idea.
"Bobby was more than just a local comedian for our theatre. Bobby was a great supporter and helped us fund-raise, he wasn’t just supportive of the professional acts, but the amateur groups as well.
"He was a real community player, and he would often drop in with his mischievous laugh coming down the corridor. He is a great, great loss to Lowther.
"The volunteers, the staff and everyone else would like to see something done to honour his memory.”
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