Honouring heroes by branding in bronze: theorizing the UK's football statuary

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Stride, C ; Wilson, JP ; Thomas, F (2013)
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis

As of 1 August 2012, there were 60 figurative subject-specific statues of association football players, managers, chairmen, owners or founding fathers sited at stadia or city centres within the UK, with all but three of these erected in the last 20 years. Clubs, their supporters and local authorities are investing substantial financial and logistical resources in adding to the cultural landscape. Their motivations are posited as a multifaceted marketing strategy that includes branding through success, the evocation of nostalgia and the creation of identity through heritage objects; a statement of cultural change, ownership and environmental improvement; and sympathy, as part of a developing mourning culture within football. Statues have been facilitated by the increasing availability of funding, and by spare capacity in fan organizations. Statue projects may be beneficial in bringing supporters together, but as a conduit for engaging the wider public in social history they are limited by subject choices driven by memory or sympathy. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
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