Life-size Captain Tom statue set to be put up for auction starting at 99p after owner fails to sell it for £29,000

3 March 2024, 13:41 | Updated: 3 March 2024, 15:05

Statue of Captain Tom on eBay for £29,000 after it failed to find a permanent public home
Statue of Captain Tom on eBay for £29,000 after it failed to find a permanent public home. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A life-size statue of Captain Tom will be put up for auction if a buyer does not come forward.

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Its eBay listing originally had an asking price of £29,000 but was later slashed to £25,000.

Owner Tony Clark has since said he will put the statue up for auction to 'take what he can' if it does not find a new home within the next few weeks.

The Walk of Hope, a 5ft 3in sculpture, shows Captain Tom with his walking frame as if he was still strolling around his garden for NHS Charities Together.

Mr Clark wanted it to be displayed in Captain Tom's native Yorkshire and commissioned artists in Indonesia to make the life-sized statue.

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"I’m gutted that I’ve had to put it on eBay. If no buyer comes forward I’ll just have to put it in auction and take what I can," Mr Clark told Metro.

"I’ll just have to put it in there for 99p and see how many bid on it. 

"I would love it to go on public display, but I think it’s more likely to go to a personal collector. I’ll give it another few weeks on eBay but I just want to move on it from now, I want to put it all behind me."

He added: "In my heart of hearts I am still proud of what Captain Tom did and of the statue we made.

"It’s just sad seeing it sitting there gathering dust."

Sculptor Tony Clark with the statue of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore
Sculptor Tony Clark with the statue of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore. Picture: Alamy

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Mr Clark has previously said in an update on a GoFundMe page that he had a "heavy heart" after being unable to engage Captain Tom's family and Bradford Council in locating a place for the statue.

Writing in September 2022, he said: "My wishes are now to draw a conclusion to this and hopefully have a positive outcome. I am left with a bronze statue that needs a permanent site, that is owned by a private business or person.

"This site ideally will be somewhere that the public can access to view, preferably in Yorkshire, better still in Keighley where he was from.

"But I am open to ideas, please contact me if anyone has any suggestions.

"I just want to close this chapter in my life but equally see this piece go somewhere suitable."

The GoFundMe page gives a target of £60,000 to cover the statue's costs, with 10% being donated to The Veterans Charity.

On eBay, the seller describes the likeness as the original piece commissioned in 2020 to commemorate Captain Tom’s "amazing achievements".

The vendor says that "the foundation and family have nothing to do with this piece and will not endorse it either".

Captain Tom Moore
Captain Tom Moore. Picture: Alamy

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Before its asking price was slashed, an alert from the auction website announced the owner was open to seeing offers below that value.

Captain Tom became a national hero during the first Covid lockdown after raising £38.9million by walking laps of his garden.

After he died, his family continued his fundraising work through the foundation.

The charity is currently under a Charity Commission investigation over possible conflicts of interest, mismanagement and whether the trustees fulfilled their legal duties and responsibilities.  

Captain Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore was also involved in a saga due to the planning application drama surrounding a spa pool block at their home.

The family lost an appeal against an order from Central Bedfordshire Council to remove the Captain Tom Foundation Building, and it was demolished last month.