The Trust has for many years celebrated the history and heritage of our great club, and that will always continue. Alongside our plans to form a new club museum, we want to recognise our living legends and the first of those is Don Rogers – who as match winner on the day is often considered as a figurehead for our heroes of 1969.
Statues are expensive but can also provide an ongoing merchandising income stream for our club, so they are not just a luxury item. We plan to follow up with a statue of John Trollope in the future, if members approve.
Back in March we surveyed our membership and 94% of the 340 that voted were in favour of commissioning a statue of Don Rogers. Also, lots of additional feedback was taken on board and most respondents preferred the idea of an ‘action’ pose of Don rather than a ‘static’ pose with a trophy.
The total cost of a 115% statue was estimated back in March to be £52,250 excluding delivery/installation but as is the way in 2022, the bronze casting costs have since risen by £8k and now due to the change of pose, we believe we should have an additional £5k solid base on which the statue can stand. This brings us to an updated and accurate quote (ready to order) of £65k.
For an extra £9k, we can have a much larger statue, with a new total of £74k. This would be more appropriate if the statue is in a very open space and needs to be seen from afar.
There will be additional costs to consider in terms of the base. A simple brick base is more cost effective, but the more attractive granite base will obviously be a lot more expensive.
Our sculptor, Alan Herriott has been busy this year with other work, notably the new Manchester United statue of Jimmy Murphy (https://www.manutd.com/en/news/detail/jimmy-murphy-statue-plans-gather-pace-at-old-trafford) however despite this he has made good progress, with a small-scale ‘maquette’ being produced, and he is now ready to get started on a full-scale version of Don’s statue.
Thanks to member donations and our very low running costs, and can cover any statue size or plinth, and our plan is to have the statue ready for August 2023 and the start of the 2023/24 season. We will therefore be placing an order in November and will also seek your views on the plinth.
Over the next few months, we will continue to engage with members and give you updates as the statue progresses. We will continue to discuss with the club where to site the statue, but all agree that this is a very exciting project for supporters and for the area, as it will symbolise the start of the County Ground regeneration.
Photographs can be misleading, this statue of Denis Law is 115% (also sculpted by Alan Herriott), but in an elevated position looks much bigger.
You can see it being unveiled by Denis and Sir Alex Ferguson here: https://twitter.com/BenPhilip_/status/1461297307614334980?s=20&t=wkJyWLpqQX9J2CK31UlwnA
Our original idea was 115% and within the stadium footprint, at the centre of a fanzone area. That said, if we want the statue visible from the Magic Roundabout area – then we should consider the larger 125% version.
The plinth can be brick or granite (see below examples) – our plan is to include additional features into the plinth with a commemorative club crest from the time and inscribed details of the team from the 1969 final.
The base will also need to be set in firm foundations, see Denis Law base example.
The design has evolved a lot this year. Alan produced a mock-up graphic for our AGM, of Don holding the League Cup trophy in a fictional pose (see below). Although well liked, supporters voted and opted for an ‘action’ pose.
Our sculptor Alan then explained that small-scale ‘Maquettes’ are produced for discussions like these, and so pushed forward with a design based on Don in his most famous moment, having rounded Bob Wilson and a split second away from scoring the third and final goal at Wembley on that great day in 1969.
The statue presents a good likeness of Don but given the small scale, it’s only really there to allow for discussion and fine-tuning of the pose (to give some indication of scale, his head on the maquette is the size of an egg)
The Base Plinth
The statue base will celebrate the entire team. We hope to include the following words, although this is up for discussion and we need to understand options around how these words would be presented.
Don Rogers – Representing Swindon Town at the League Cup Final in 1969
On the other side –
This statue is in honour of the 1969 Football League Cup Final which was held on 15 March 1969
Arsenal 1 Swindon Town 3
Gould 86′ Smart 35′
Rogers 104′ 119′
Our team that day:
1 Peter Downsborough
2 Rod Thomas
3 John Trollope
4 Joe Butler
5 Frank Burrows
6 Stan Harland
7 Don Heath
8 Roger Smart
9 John Smith
10 Peter Noble
11 Don Rogers
Being two divisions below Arsenal in the Third Division, they came away as winners in their first match at Wembley
Considered by many as the greatest achievement in Swindon Town history