Funding green light for statue of Blaenavon rugby legen Ken Jones
SIXTY years after scoring the historic winning try against New Zealand’s All Blacks, a statue to rugby legend Ken Jones will finally be erected in his home town.
The project, which has been a dream for many in Blaenavon, has received funding and will be built within months.
The Ken Jones committee has been working since 2011 to raise funds for the statue of the late sporting legend by holding various events.
Last month the chairman of the Ken Jones Appeal Fund, Stuart Evans, revealed news that the committee had applied for a National Assembly Heads of the Valley grant to complete the project.
They can now reveal that they have been granted the full funds to cover the project and the statue could be erected in Mr Jones’ home town of Blaenavon by April.
Ken Jones’ son Philip visited sculptor Laury Dizengremel at her studio to see the work in progress and spoke highly of what he saw.
Upon hearing the news that the group were successful in their bid, he said: “I’m really pleased. It’s great that dad’s exploits are being recognised in this way. “It’s also 60 years since dad scored the winning try against the All Blacks for Wales, so it’s timely the statue is happening this year.”
A spokeswoman from Torfaen council, who oversaw the application for funding, said: “A grant of £80,000 from Heads of the Valley has been secured for the Ken Jones sculpture art project.”
The committee has received a portion of the funds to give to sculptor Ms Dizengremel so that she can continue working on the sculpture, at the price of £28,500.
The remaining funding will be used for the sculpture’s installation, relocation of street furniture, engineering surveys, contractor fees, consultancy fees and any unforeseen works.
Mr Evans, said: “The Ken Jones appeal committee were delighted to hear the good news of the successful bid, which will enable the group to achieve the goal of providing a fitting tribute to one of Blaenavon’s famous sons.
Without the funding it would have been several years before the artwork would have been in place.
“I would like to thank the many organisations and individuals who donated, and the committee members. I look forward to the day when we can at last unveil the statue of Ken.”
Ms Dizengremel is putting the finishing touches to the clay sculpture before moulds can be taken.
Mr Jones, who died in 2006 at the age of 84, was a rugby great who played on the wing for Newport and Wales and who also won an Olympic silver medal with the Great Britain 4x100m relay team at the 1948 Games in London.