Organisers of a campaign to see Celtic and Scotland legend Bobby Lennox honoured with a statue in his hometown of Saltcoats today admitted they were “stunned” by the initial response to their plan.
The Facebook page set up by Patrick Thomas and Mark McClure had an incredible 1,000 likes in just three days … and the campaigners are now hoping to raise thousands of pounds at tomorrow’s Champion’s League clash between Celtic and Manchester City.
There was more good news for the appeal, with North Ayrshire councillor Jim Montgomerie backing the plan.
Patrick founded the campaign with friend Mark just over a month ago, and is delighted just how much momentum the movement has created in such a short period of time.
He said: “We’re doing really well and have had nothing but positive responses from people contacting us which is exactly what we were after. We are also hoping to have a family fun day in the North Ayrshire town with Bobby in attendance so there’s even more potential to grow our fanbase and appeal to the local community.”
The brains behind the campaign are not short of ideas with a bucket collection in place before Celtic’s Champions League clash against Manchester City tomorrow. The match will see a sell-out crowd at Celtic Park with the organisers hoping to raise more than £10,000.
This collection comes on top of numerous media appearances including Clyde Superscoreboard, the Burst Baw Scottish Football Podcast and the Celtic View – the club’s official weekly magazine.
The campaign began in late August with the aim of seeing local hero Lennox recognised for his achievements during a stellar playing career that saw him win the European Cup with Celtic in 1967.
The committee plan to keep the project in the community as much as possible with plans to use a local sculptor if the project gets the go-ahead.
Lennox is Celtic’s most decorated player. Having won an unprecedented 11 Scottish League titles and eight Scottish Cups, he also won five Scottish League Cups and four Glasgow Cups, not to mention the famous European Cup triumph under legendary boss Jock Stein.
Lennox scored 273 goals for the Hoops in all competitions. He is second only to all-time goal scorer Jimmy McGrory; who scored 468.
He was also part of the team that reached the 1970 European Cup final; losing 2-1 after extra-time to Feyenoord at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
Lennox won a total of 10 caps for Scotland, his crowning moment being when he scored against England in 1967. This was their first loss since winning the World Cup the year before.
Affectionately known as the “Buzzbomb” by fans, Lennox also spent some time in the USA, playing for Houston Hurricane in the NASL.