The Celebration Statue 1979

A Tribute to Cyrille Regis, Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham


The Statue




The Magazine

Frank Skinner


As the life size clay sculpture of the Celebration Statue is finally unveiled in his London studio, artist Graham Ibbeson, tells us about the stresses and strains that accompany a commission of this magnitude and explains what remains to be done before the bronze statue is erected in West Bromwich in the Spring of 2015:

Yes I was nervous and a little stressed beforehand, I always am when the subjects and their family come to view my work (and with over 30 public sculptures up and down the country it is still a tense time for me) and I told Cyrille so. He replied saying “playing football in a stadium full of 90,000 people now that’s pressure, have faith in your ability”. It didn’t calm me down; however, I was relieved and delighted on the 3rd of April when my 3 metre high clay sculpture of Batson, Cunningham, and Regis (The Celebration Statue) was given the thumbs up by, Cyrille, several WBA fans, and supporters of the project who attended a special viewing in London. (Brendon had viewed the piece a few weeks early to give his approval.)

The next stage is the rubber moulding of the 3 figures, this will capture my modelled image, and then it’s in the hands of the bronze foundry. A wax replica of the sculpture is produced from the rubber mould by the master craftsmen at the foundry (the lost wax method) then invested and cast into bronze. I relinquish some control at this stage, but will visit the Foundry many times to view progress during the casting process that takes several months.

Yes I will be nervous again in Spring of 2015 when the Sculpture is unveiled in New Town Square West Bromwich, but through my endeavours I will be thanking every single one of the supporters of The Celebration Statue, and also recognising the tireless efforts of Jim Cadman for making it happen and having faith in my ability to create this unique public sculpture that will last long beyond my life time.

Graham Ibbeson (April ’13)

The full size clay model is unveiled.

The full size clay model is unveiled.

Jim Cadman, Cyrille Regis and Graham Ibbeson.

Jim Cadman, Cyrille Regis and Graham Ibbeson.

Members of the 1979 Club get a first glimpse of the statue.

Members of The 1979 Club get a first glimpse of the statue.

For further information contact Jim Cadman on 01562 887323 or via email

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