Middlesbrough mayor teases at idea of Juninho statue

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston has teased at the possibility of erecting a statue in honour of Middlesbrough FC legend Juninho.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 5:46 pm
Juninho while at Middlesbrough. Picture by PA.
Juninho while at Middlesbrough. Picture by PA.

The pint-size midfielder holds a special place in the hearts of Boro fans and frequently tops polls as the club’s greatest ever player.

In a tweet on Friday, Mr Preston hinted at the possibility of a statue being erected in honour of Juninho in Middlesbrough.

He joked that building a life-size statue of “the little fella” would be cheap given the Brazilian international’s short stature.

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The mayor’s tweet read: “Should there be a statue for Juninho? Easily the most popular Boro player of the Riverside era. If it was life size, it would only be small – so that would keep the cost down!”

Interacting with the comments that followed, Mr Preston seemed to rule out a council-funded tribute, suggesting it could be a fan-funded venture instead.

“Sure you (can) budget for it somewhere Andy,” posted one person.

“No not us! Maybe fans could do it?,” replied the mayor.

Middlesbrough currently hosts a number of statues in honour of its famous sons such as Stan Hollis and Brian Clough but so far is yet to honour any women.

In 2016, an online poll determined that the first statue of a woman to be erected in Middlesbrough should depict former MP Ellen Wilkinson.

She served in Middlesbrough East from 1924 to 1931 and later became the first female education minister.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has contacted Mr Preston for comment.