Wembley historian asks Brent councillors to back murals bid

Brent councillors infront of Wembley Park murals

Wembley historian Philip Grant is asking Brent councillors to back his bid to allow Wembley Park's tiled murals to be shown during the European Championships - Credit: Philip Grant

A historian has repeated his calls for tiled murals in Wembley Park showcasing part of England’s football history to be on display during this summer’s European Championships.

Philip Grant, of Wembley History Society, is concerned the murals – on the underpass at Bobby Moore Bridge on the approach to Wembley Stadium – will be covered with adverts during the tournament.

provided by , showing all of the murals which decorate the east wall of the subway. These have all b

Wembley tile mural has all been covered up with vinyl adverts since October 2013, although the section showing the footballers are put on display after Quintain's applications were approved, and the rest permanently hidden. - Credit: Julian Tollast of Quintain

He continues to contest Brent Council’s claim that property developer Quintain has permission to display ‘light boxes’ along the entire walkway during “a limited number of event days”.

Mr Grant hopes to see at least a portion of the strip – showing England footballers in front of the old Wembley’s iconic ‘twin towers’ – on display, particularly as tournament organisers hope to see some fans attend several games at the ground.

World Cup tile mural in Wembley Park (Picture: Wembley History Society and Brent Archives)

World Cup tile mural in Wembley Park (Picture: Wembley History Society and Brent Archives) - Credit: Archant

He wrote to Brent Council leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt, outlining his concerns and urging him to intervene on the issue.

“It would be tragic, and would bring Brent Council into disrepute, if this mural scene, with its plaque unveiled by Bobby Moore’s widow in 1993 (when the bridge and subway were named ‘in honour of a football legend’), is hidden behind advertising banners when England fans are passing through the subway on their way to support their country,” he said.

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“The way to ensure that outcome is avoided is for Brent Council to remove any doubt and instruct Quintain that they do not have advertisement consent to cover-up the ‘footballers’ tile mural.”

Taken in 2009: The "1948 Olympic Games" section of the tile murals, at the start of Olympic Way, wh

Taken in 2009: The "1948 Olympic Games" section of the tile murals, at the start of Olympic Way, which are now mostly hidden behind illuminated panels and the metal cladding. - Credit: Philip Grant

Mr Grant added he has provided “clear evidence” to council officers which he said supports his case.

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After the council’s director of legal, HR, audit and investigations, Debra Norman, disputed this, he has called on councillors to show “commitment and enthusiasm for this heritage asset” by backing his campaign.

A spokeswoman for Brent Council explained the murals – both the ‘footballers’ and those referencing other parts of Wembley’s sporting history – are shown at certain times but did not confirm if this would be the case for the Euros.

She said: “The council currently has an agreement in place with Quintain which allows advertising on Bobby Moore Bridge and this income helps to protect vital public services.

“The agreement allows for the murals to be uncovered periodically for public display, and we were pleased that residents and visitors were able to enjoy additional sections throughout March.”

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