HIS boxing achievements may have been overlooked by the Capital for almost half a century – but Ken Buchanan will be immortalised with a statue if his community has anything to do with it.
Residents, pubs and sporting groups, in Leith are preparing to give the former fighter, who put the city on the boxing map, the tribute he deserves.
It doesn’t matter if it’ll cost us £30,000 or £100,000, we will raise whatever it takes through fundraising activities.Terry McCormack
They are planning to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to build a statue for the World Lightweight Champion.
Terry McCormack, head coach at the Lochend Boxing Club – where Mr Buchanan trains regularly – said: “No matter how much money it takes, we will raise enough to build a statue of Kenny.
“He’s a very well known figure in Leith, everyone speaks to him, and it’s only right we recognise his achievements with something like a statue – it’s a great idea. When you listen to some of his stories they are just amazing.
“In Kenny’s day, there could only be one champion of the world, and that’s what he was.”
The 70-year-old, who lives in Leith, once topped the bill with Muhammad Ali.
He is the only living British fighter in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into in 2000.
He twice fought on the same bill as Ali at Madison Square Garden, New York, and was voted Greatest Ever British Boxer in a 1978 poll organised by the sport’s British trade newspaper, Boxing News.
Mr McCormack said following discussions between businesses and residents in Leith, a preferred place to have the statue placed is at the foot of Leith Walk.
Mr McCormack added: “I think an idea for his statue would be to have him standing in his boxing stance – a pose that was so classy and recognisable. He was also well known all over the world for wearing tartan shorts.
“It doesn’t matter if it’ll cost us £30,000 or £100,000, we will raise whatever it takes through fundraising activities.”
Mr Buchanan was honoured in a civic reception at the City Chambers last Friday. It was the first honour bestowed on him by the city after a glittering sporting career.
Lord Provost Donald Wilson, said he understands calls for a lasting tribute to Mr Buchanan.
George Watters, 62, from Leith, said as well as the boxing club, the Leith Victoria, the Central Bar, Wilkies and the Masonic Club, have all vowed to help raise money for the statue.
Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “I can fully understand and support calls for a lasting tribute to Ken Buchanan’s impressive contribution to sport in the city. I encourage locals to come forward with proposals.”