‘Sad day’ as massive statue of naked man is removed from Wigan car park after complaints

A 20ft golden statue of a naked man, which turned heads and got some laughs, has been removed from the Wigan car park where it stood.

The unmissable figure was first used to promote Hollywood film Gladiator in 2000, before being sold and brought to the borough several years ago.

It was placed in the car park of Bulldog Forge, on Darlington Street East, Ince, earlier this year, causing many passers-by to rub their eyes in disbelief.

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But the statue was moved this week, amid claims the shop and landlord were advised to do so by Wigan Council.

The naked golden statue seemingly does a 'Superman' on the back of a truck through the streets of Wigan as it is removed
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Store owner Grant Adamson said: “We’ve had to remove it. Wigan Council didn’t like it, they said they’ve had too many complaints about it.

“We had one lad come in and tell us it was obscene, but if you go on our Facebook page where we’ve posted about it, they’re all on about petitions to bring it back. People just laugh at it, it’s just a talking point.

"It’s been good for the shop as a landmark. It got a good response. It’s a shame really.

The naked golden statue stood on the back of a truck, ready for removal from Grant's Bulldog Forge.

“It’s a sad day today, but I’m sure we’ll see him again somewhere.”

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In a post on Facebook, daughter of the plot’s landlord, Sally Whitter, said: "Sorry everyone, over-bearing Wigan council forcing our arm on this.

"Sorry folk of Wigan, golden b’s is travelling elsewhere, might see him again or we might dare put him in a new location in the Wigan borough!!!

“Thanks for your support and glad it’s kept everyone entertained over last few months.”

The statue standing proudly on the car park at Grant's Bulldog Forge
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Many people commented on the post to share their thoughts on the statue.

Tracy Turner said: “We should start a petition now ‘bring back our golden god’ bringing Hollywood to Ince and us residents love it.”

Tracey Murray said: “I took a picture of this a few weeks ago when visiting Grants. I thought it was great!”

Les Tyler said: “Aww, oh no. I loved driving past that. Now the drive will be so boring.”

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A council spokesman said: “The council has been liaising with the landowner as regards to the need for the relevant planning permission for the statue. The statue has been removed very recently, and so the council is now reviewing its next steps in line with its normal processes.”