National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

William Webb Ellis

Summary

Type Sculpture , Statue

     William Webb Ellis is shown running with the ball. Figure surmounts base which is surrounded by decorative iron railings and floral planting. Plain pedestal base with cornice. Cast using the lost wax technique.
     Ibbeson modelled the statue on his own son. It was unveiled by Jeremy Guscott. It was funded by a variety of local organisations in collaboration with various Rugby football associations. It is now owned by the Rugby Borough Council. An earlier stone tablet in the school also commemorates Ellis.
     William Webb Ellis (1805 - 1872) British sportsman, and reputedly the inventor of rugby football. According to a rather doubtful tradition, he was a pupil at Rugby School in 1823 when he broke the rules by picking up and running with the ball during a game of association football, thus inspiring the new game of rugby.

Inscriptions

On bronze plaque: 'THE LOCAL BOY WHO INSPIRED / THE GAME OF RUGBY FOOTBALL / ON THE CLOSE AT RUGBY SCHOOL IN / 1823. / SCULPTOR: GRAHAM IBBSEON / 1997'

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Ibbeson, Graham Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Statue Bronze 229cm high
Plaque Bronze 18cm high x 66cm wide approx.
Base York stone 200 cm high x 100cm wide x 100cm deep approx.
Railings Iron None
Whole None 420cm high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WAruRUxx005 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Abrasions, cracks, splits
Structural condition
Vandalism
  • None
Road Dunchurch Road
Precise location At junction with Lawrence Sheriff Street, outside Rugby School
A-Z ref None
OS ref SP502749
Date of design c 1997
Year of unveiling 1997
Unveiling details September 1997
Commissioned by William Webb Ellis Statue Appeal
Duty of care Rugby Borough Council
Listing status Don't know
At risk? No known risk

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