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How not to honor your club's iconic hero

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Step One: Give the job of immortalizing a man who served the club in virtually every capacity over 60+ years to a professional sculptor who's a passionate fan, yes, but also has never worked on any sculpture on this scale or in this material.

Two: Rush it. Crank it out in less than two years, when comparable works have taken four - and that was with a live subject. (Though I'm seeing that better statues in the "football legends" genre have been done quicker and cheaper, too.)

Three: Hope for the best.

I give you the just-unveiled, already-reviled, and soon-to-be-toppled statue of Southampton legend Ted Bates at St. Mary's.

Good Lord - more photos here.

Man, I feel terrible for everyone here. The fans are understandably up in arms about it; their season has sucked, and now their fundraising efforts - the statue cost over $200k - gave birth to that thing. Bates' family can't be pleased that he comes out looking like Tattoo (as opposed to Tatu - I can't wait till they put up the statue of Tatu down in Dallas, if only to see how they'll replicate the shirt flying off into the crowd in bronze.) The foundry is like "hey, don't look at us." And sculptor Ian Brennan really does sounds like someone who put a lot of honest sweat and toil into the work - it just didn't come off. Ok, understatement there. Did it ever "not come off."

I do love this quote, from an interview with sculptor Brennan.

"I've never seen a smile on a statue before but after a lot of research we decided to go with a pose of him waving and with a smile on his face.

"Generally that's a no-no because most people remember your face as it is most of the time. A smile only lasts a few seconds but Ted was always smiling and if his statue had a straight face and he was still waving, there was a risk of him looking like Stalin or the Saddam Hussein statue that was pulled down."

Don't miss the comments here - particularly those from the sympathetic souls down the South Coast at Portsmouth - which are absolutely worth the price of admission.

And I thought the bronze Batistuta in Florence looked a little weird.

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