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Dickie Bird was most admired and respected during his 24 years as an international umpire and now he is being raised to a higher status. By five feet to be precise. Not the real thing but Bird's statue in his hometown of Barnsley. The move comes after his bronzed index finger was being used to hang a variety of interesting items on including pants, condoms and chip boxes. Bird has been seen removing rogue items from his own statue but said he didn't mind what people were doing and saw it as a sign of respect that the statue had not been damaged.
"We are not going to stop it," Sculptor Graham Ibbeson said about a plinth that will be erected beneath the statue. "What we are going to do is make it a little more difficult. We are raising him up where he belongs.
"On Friday and Saturday night everybody who wobbles home from the town after a few sherberts seems to gravitate towards that finger, with knickers, brassieres, condoms, whatever. Dickie has been seen occasionally cleaning the debris off himself, so it needed to be done. It's horrible when people are abusing it like that. It is a bit of fun but it is a bit inappropriate."
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