Ken Buchanan comes face-to-face with his statue for the first time

The larger-than-life statue will be erected in Leith.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:00 am
Ken Buchanan with the terracotta wax statue. Picture: Paul Reid.

Former world boxing champion Ken Buchanan MBE has come face-to-face for the first time with a statue of him due to be erected in Leith.Mr Buchanan was delighted by the figure, which shows him in a boxing stance complete with the Lonsdale Belt he won in 1973.

“It’s magic, it’s brilliant,” the 74-year-old said.

“I think it’s breathing.”

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Sculptor Alan Herriot with the maquette of the statue in September.

Peter Swanson, one of the Foundation's trustees, said, "The statue captures Ken perfectly. He is a local lad and deserves to have his achievements recognised."

The statue was commissioned by the Ken Buchanan MBE Foundation, set up to raise money for a statue of the legendary boxer.

It is due to be placed at the top of Leith walk outside the newly-developed St James Centre, Lord Provost Frank Ross announced at a fundraising dinner for the statue in September.

The statue, which will be cast in bronze, has been created by Edinburgh sculptor Alan Herriot.

“I’m delighted to have sculpted this, everyone seems very pleased. I think it’s a really fitting tribute to Ken Buchanan, without a doubt Scotland’s best boxer,” he said.

“It’s a great achievement, and great for Ken to be honoured in this way - the Ken Buchanan Foundation obviously think a lot of him, it’s a great thing for them to do.

“I would love to see the statue put up at the St James Centre, it’s a very high profile site and it would be nice to have the statue in such a prominent place.”

It shows Buchanan wearing his legendary tartan shorts, which he first wore in his world title fight against Ismael Laguna in Puerto Rico in 1970.

He is also wearing the Lonsdale Belt, the oldest championship belt in British boxing, which he won in a 15-round bout against Glaswegian Jim Watt at the Albany Hotel in Glasgow in 1973

The Lonsdale belt was the ‘hardest part’ of the statue, according to sculptor Alan Herriot.

“It was the most complicated bit, it has a lot of different elements and badges,” he said.

The statue is around 110% life size, meaning it will stand at 6’ 3” to Ken Buchanan’s 5’ 9”.

It is currently a terracotta wax carving, which will be used to make a hot bronze replica.

“The Foundation asked me for a traditional boxing stance,” said Mr Herriot.

“There was a lot of back and forth between the lot of us about his stance and the position of his hands, but I think it’s ended up fairly accurate and everyone is happy with it.”

Ken Buchanan is not the first sportsperson that Mr Herriot has carved a likeness of, with previous subjects including Rinty Monaghan and John Caldwell, both boxers now immortalised in their hometown of Belfast.