A sculpture is set to be unveiled in honour of a former boxing champion - thanks to the efforts of a county councillor who raised £10,000 to pay for it.
Durham County Councillor Eunice Huntington has spent years raising the funds for the sculpture to pay tribute to former Shotton Colliery boxer Maurice Cullen.
Coun Huntington commissioned artist Graeme Hopper to produce the sculpture which is an exact replica Mr Cullen’s boxing gloves.
The sculpture will be sited on the Ashbrooke Estate in Shotton Colliery - in front of the house where Mr Cullen used to live.
It aims to recognise the achievements of the professional lightweight boxer, in a career which spanned form 1959 to 1970.
In that time Mr Cullen took part in 55 professional contests and was five times British Lightweight Champion.
He sadly died in November 2001.
Coun Huntington, who initiated the project, said she saved the money from her neighbourhood budget over the years, with the Parish Council contributing £300.
She said: “Maurice was well loved by the local people and respected far and wide. He was a gentleman both in and outside the ring and he defended his title five times.
“The visual art was created by Graeme Hopper and is a replica of Maurice’s boxing gloves.
“I saved the money over a number of years from my neighbourhood budget.
“It was always something I wanted to do for the community and has proved very popular.
“The family have been consulted throughout the process and are highly delighted with the outcome.
“I hope the unveiling event will be an inspiration to our young people.”
The sculpture will be unveiled on Saturday, April 7, at 11am, by Maurice’s three grandchildren.
Mr Cullen’s widow Joan Cullen, who lives in Shotton Colliery, said: “I saw the sculpture last year and what Graeme has done is amazing. “It is beautiful and a fitting tribute to Maurice.
“The whole family are pleased with it and our three grandchildren, who sadly never got to meet him, will unveil it on April 7.”