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Shirley fishmonger wants life-sized statue of himself next to Croydon bench

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A FISHMONGER from Shirley is hoping to follow the likes of Sir Winston Churchill and Eric Morecambe and see a life-sized statue built of himself.

A public vote was launched to find three characters to feature around a new bench in Croydon.

But it was unlikely the organisers had 26-year-old Darren Maskell from Shirley in mind.

He put his name down for a public vote and gathered backing from "hundreds" of supporters on Twitter and Facebook.

And now he is anxiously waiting to find out whether his own effigy will be built.

Other names in the frame included comic Ronnie Corbett, composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Addiscombe actor Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader in Star Wars.

Darren told the Advertiser: "I was looking on Croydon Council's website and there was a voting form with suggested people.

"They put down Ronnie Corbett and other vague names linked to Croydon.

"He's [Ronnie Corbett] not even from Croydon, he lives in Croydon.

"So I suggested my own name and got lots of people to vote for me.

"When you see these statues to minor celebrities it doesn't mean much to people.

"But if there was a statue of somebody they didn't know at all then it would be a talking point."

Darren has lived in Shirley his entire life and was educated in the area at Monks Orchard Primary School, in The Glade, and Edenham High School, in Orchard Way.

The contest to create a bench with two-dimensional characters was launched by Sustrans, a national public art project, with support from the Big Lottery Fund and Croydon Council.

The life-sized portraits would be on a new cycle route, which is currently being developed, connecting Wandle Park to Lloyd Park via the town centre.

Darren said he would be simply "chuffed" if he was chosen. He added: "It would show that anybody could get a statue and it is not out of the realms of impossibility. You don't have to be a major celebrity to get one."

Sustrans says the three characters are currently being made, with an announcement on the winners to come early next year.

Shirley fishmonger wants life-sized statue of himself next to Croydon bench


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