A Derbyshire man who commissioned a bust of Captain Sir Tom Moore is campaigning to have a statue made for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.
A sculpture of the Second World War veteran – complete with medals and the NHS fundraising hero’s trademark blazer – was commissioned by Garry McBride, of Monumental Icons, in July last year.
Mr McBride, 67, described Sir Tom’s death on Tuesday as the loss of a “bit of a friend, a pal and a champion” – adding: “It would be awful if after five to 10 years all his efforts were forgotten.”
Sir Tom raised almost £33 million by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden during the first coronavirus lockdown and Mr McBride described the 100-year-old as a “beacon of light in our darkest times”.
Now Mr McBride said he would like to commission a statue for the Fourth Plinth after the original bust was installed at Leeds St James’s Hospital.
He told the PA news agency: “It doesn’t matter how old somebody is, when they pass away it’s always extremely sad and upsetting.
“He was a beacon of light in our darkest times and I think he’ll be missed by a lot of people because during last year’s lockdown every single television programme, radio show and national newspaper mentioned Captain Sir Tom.
“All of us have lost a bit of a friend, a pal and a champion.”
Speaking about his plans for a statue, Mr McBride said: “For obvious reasons it would be very, very nice if we could get the opportunity of creating a one-and-a-half life-sized full statue.
The Fourth Plinth, for instance, would be absolutely perfectGarry McBride
“It would take approximately eight weeks to make a statue, so in that time there’s plenty of chance for people to watch the sculpture actually being made and plenty of time to find a prominent site – and I think it needs to be a prominent site.
“The Fourth Plinth, for instance, would be absolutely perfect.”
Addressing why he believed a statue was important, Mr McBride said: “It’s not just what he’s achieved, he’s now become … a champion for the Great British spirit really – and because he’s so well known now throughout the world, wouldn’t it be wonderful for tourists coming to London, and ourselves, to pay homage to the hard work of the NHS.
“There probably couldn’t be a better time to have a statue built or created.
“Statues have been front page news for possibly all the wrong reasons, but … I’m sure every single person in the world would like to celebrate what he’s achieved for us.”