Fulham Football Club is delighted to announce that it has commissioned esteemed sculptor Douglas Jennings to create a statue of George Cohen MBE. It will be displayed at Craven Cottage and unveiled in October 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of England’s famous World Cup victory in 1966, in which George played and raised the iconic Jules Rimet trophy.
For many years, George has been a fantastic ambassador for Fulham’s work in the community. As part of the fundraising process, two initiatives in his name will be launched with the aim of improving men’s health through local dementia care and health preventative programmes.
The statue and the dementia and men’s health programmes managed by the Club’s Foundation will require significant funding. Fulham’s Chairman, Shahid Khan, has pledged to match every single pound raised to ensure that not only the statue is erected, but that the Foundation can deliver initiatives supporting George’s chosen cause.
Fans worldwide will also be given the opportunity to contribute in a multitude of different ways, including a personal engraving on a brass plaque that will adorn the stone plinth on which the statue will stand, along with money-can’t-buy experiences involving the Fulham team.
As Fulham and England’s right-back, George played 459 times for the Whites and 37 times for his country. His entire career was played in the black and white of Fulham and he remains a host of his own George Cohen Lounge on matchdays at the Cottage, where he delights visitors with anecdotes and tales of his former playing days along with insightful analysis of the Club's most recent performances.
“George Cohen and Craven Cottage are each at the heart of the history and tradition of Fulham Football Club,” FFC Chairman Shahid Khan said. “Mr Cohen continues to inspire us at Fulham, as well as everyone who loves the game of football in England.
"It’s only appropriate that Mr Cohen be celebrated and honoured here at Craven Cottage by the Club as well as our fans who can take part in the effort to recognise a legendary member of the Fulham family and make a difference in the good causes that Mr Cohen supports.”
Bob Howes, chairman of the supporter-led group that proposed the statue to Fulham earlier this year said: “We're delighted that this honour is being paid to George Cohen MBE, a true gentleman who has given so much to the supporters of Fulham, England and the world of football. Our committee are fully committed and would like to invite all supporters to join us in funding this exciting project."
The only World Cup title ever won by England took place on 30th July 1966 at Wembley Stadium and had an attendance of 96,924. The British television audience reached 32.30m viewers, making the Final the most watched television event ever in the United Kingdom. For his contribution to that success, George was awarded the MBE in 2000.