A memorial is being unveiled to one of Plymouth’s most famous sons – Michael Foot.
The unveiling to the memorial for the former Plymouth MP, journalist and one time leader of the Labour Party, is taking place at Freedom Fields in Plymouth today at 3.30pm, followed by hot drinks at the nearby Freedom Fields Café.
Nearly £50,000 in donations has been raised by volunteers over the last two years. Donations have been received from a range of different people from across the political spectrum. Members of Michael Foot’s family, the Labour Party and politicians from the across the local political sphere will be at the unveiling.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “I am very pleased to be able to attend the unveiling of this memorial to Michael Foot, a true Plymouth icon. He was one of Plymouth’s most famous sons and I am delighted that our pledge for a memorial to be created from public donations has come to fruition.”
Luke Pollard, one of the organisers of the Michael Foot Memorial Appeal, said: “On behalf of the memorial appeal I want to thank all those people who donated time, energy and money to create a lasting memorial to Michael Foot in Plymouth. The support the appeal has received from Plymouth businesses has been incredible and testament to how popular Michael was.
“It was the work of local firms and specialists who gave their time for free that has helped us stay within budget. In particular local architect Ann Morris who designed the memorial and Westcountry Stonemasons who have expertly carved the granite blocks that were donated by Alderman Finnegan and his family. Local teams from Kier, Jenkins Potter and Williams and Trigg all contributed and deserve our thanks. Michael loved Plymouth and Freedom Fields is a fitting place for a memorial having had a long association with the Foot family.
“We hope that the memorial will serve as a lasting reminder of Michael’s contribution to Plymouth and will also allow future generations to discover Michael Foot and understand his achievements.”
Michael Foot was born in Lipson Terrace, Plymouth, in 1913 and was a Member of Parliament for Plymouth Devonport from1945 to 1955. He then returned to parliament in 1960 at a by-election in Ebbw Vale in Wales. He also led the Labour Party from 1980 to 1983 when he was succeeded by Neil Kinnock. Michael Foot also had a parallel career as a journalist, starting on the Evening Standard in 1940 and working for a range of publications over the years including the Daily Mirror.
Michael Foot retired from politics in 1992 and served as a director of Plymouth Argyle Football Club, a team he had supported since childhood. He died in March 2010, aged 96.