Family of Edinburgh war veteran Tom Gilzean "thrilled" to get new Oor Wullie statue after being outbid at auction

A replica Oor Wullie statue of legendary Edinburgh fundraiser Tom Gilzean will be made in his honour, after the original was bought for £13,000 at auction by a mystery bidder from Cyprus.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 6:51 pm
Tom Gilzean.

His family said they were "thrilled" that a sculpture of Tom will be staying on Edinburgh's streets after being outbid at an auction on Thursday night.

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Family of inspirational Edinburgh fundraiser Tom Gilzean fail in bid to buy Oor Wullie statue

Prior to the event, the legendary fundraiser’s family had raised over £7,000 to try and secure the statue as a ‘lasting tribute’ to their ‘beloved father’ who has raised over £1m for charity by collecting cash outside Marks and Spencer on Princes Street.

One of the replicas being made of Tom Gilzean - one will be smaller and the other life-sized.

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But while the family failed in their bid it can now be revealed that a second life-sized Oor Wullie sculpture of Tom Gilzean will be created and gifted to the family, funded by Central TaxisDouglas Gilzean, son of Mr Gilzean who led the crowdfunding effort to buy the statue, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that another Oor Wullie sculpture of my Dad will be created.“We’d like to thank Central Taxis for their incredible support and generosity, Wild In Art and the artist Chris Rutterford for agreeing to create another beautiful sculpture.“We’re thrilled a sculpture of Tom will be staying on the streets of Edinburgh as a tribute to him.“He will also be over the moon that the original sculpture was able to raise a staggering £13,000 at auction for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity to support children and young people in the “Sick Kids” and would like to thank whoever bought the original sculpture for their generous bid.“We haven’t confirmed where in Edinburgh the statue will be given a permanent home yet, but Dad hopes to be back out fundraising as soon as he can, so hopefully we will see the two together very soon.”Chris Rutterford, 45 from Colinton, is the artist behind the sculptures and made contact with the buyers of the original Oor Willie to ask if they could make a replica.He said: “The buyers are a Scottish couple who live in Cyprus and are huge supporters of Tom and the charity.“They were absolutely delighted when they heard I would be creating a second sculpture for Tom.”The cost of the sculpture is being covered by charity partner Central Taxis.Callum Hogg, general manager Central Taxis: “It is an honour for Central Taxis to be supporting Tom in recognition of his fundraising efforts.“He’s an inspiration to all and his efforts in supporting our charity partner Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity as well as the annual Kiddies Taxi outing is nothing short of incredible.“We are delighted that another sculpture will be created to stay in the city, as benefits an Edinburgh icon, and look forward to seeing the new Tom take his permanent place of residence somewhere in Edinburgh soon.”