Subject(s): Willie Horne
Sport: Rugby League
Location: Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
Sculptor: Chris Kelly
Status: In Situ
Plaque 1: THE WILLIE HORNE STATUE WAS UNVEILED BY STEVEN BROOMHEAD CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF NORTH WEST DEVELOPMENT AGENCY ON 20TH MAY 2004
Plaque 2: This statue was erected by the people of Barrow to salute their home-grown rugby league hero Willie Horne who brought glory to the town by his formidable exploits on the field of play that have passed into legend. An unassuming but natural leader, he captained Barrow, Lancashire, England and Great Britain, touring Australia twice and skippering Great Britain to a rare Ashes victory over the old enemy in 1952. In 1955, at the age of 33, he was the inspiration behind Barrow’s Challenge Cup Final Victory at Wembley when we defeated Workington Town 21-12 in front of a crowd of almost 67,000. Willie is regarded by many as the greatest stand-off half of his generation, and by some as the finest of all time. A quiet hero, he was revered throughout the global rugby league community but most of all here, in his own back yard, where he was idolised as a sporting genius and respected for being a decent man. It is fitting that this memorial stands here, just a drop-kick away from Craven Park where his sublime artistry baffled the best defences in the world and thrilled the roaring terraces of the post-war era. In 1995 Willie received what his family considers to be the ultimate accolade, when Barrow Borough Council voted unanimously to make him a Freeman of the Borough- the first sportsman to receive such an honour. Talented and even gifted rugby league footballers the world shall yet see, but for us there can only ever be one Willie Horne, a unique man with magic in his fingers and humility in his heart.