Sky and mighty champs

Clinton Woods  . Pictured at the Portrait bench on the  road between Halfway and Killamarsh are   a  portrait of   Sheffield boxer  Clinton Woods one of three portraits at the site.
Clinton Woods . Pictured at the Portrait bench on the road between Halfway and Killamarsh are a portrait of Sheffield boxer Clinton Woods one of three portraits at the site.
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THEIR images will form part of the skyline in this quiet community for years to come.

Three local champions, standing high above Sheffield Road on the approach to Killamarsh, their shapes silhouetted against the sunlight.

A fallen soldier, a lifelong campaigner and a world champion boxer.

Hundreds gathered to see the unveiling of the Portrait Bench erected on a new traffic-free walking and cycling route linking Killamarsh with nearby Halfway.

The path allows people on foot, bike and horse to avoid the fast traffic and narrow pavements on Station Road.

But it was the bench – featuring fallen soldier Corporal Liam Riley, footpath campaigner Colin Savage and boxer Clinton Woods – that the crowds came to see.

Colin and Clinton both spoke of their pride at seeing their images stood shoulder to shoulder with Liam, a lad who grew up in Beighton and lived in Killamarsh.

Heroic Liam, aged 21, gave his life in Afghanistan while trying to save a fallen comrade.

Liam’s mum Cheryl thanked the people of Killamarsh and surrounding areas who voted in their thousands for Liam to be featured at the bench.

She said: “When I first saw the life-sized portrait with the sun setting behind, it was just like seeing Liam standing there.

“How marvellous it will be when I am driving home from work each day to see my beautiful son waiting for me.”

Liam’s little eight-year-old sister Olivia said: “I will come down on my bike with my mum, or with my dog Oscar and all my friends from school and I will tell them that’s my brother Liam.”

Boxer Clinton said: “I used to say I had the hardest job in the world, but compared to Liam’s and all our soldiers, my job was like a stroll in the park.

“The portraits are fantastic. When I watched Rocky as a lad and they unveiled a statue of him I used to think wonder if that will happen to me one day?

“And today is the day. I’m so very proud to be in such good company.”

Colin, whose passion for walking has led to improved access to footpaths in the Kiveton area for thousands of people said: “My portrait includes my dog Jet. I didn’t bring him today but I’m sure he would like it too.”