Sheffield pensioner Tony Foulds to receive Walk of Fame star for inspiring Mi Amigo commemorations

Sheffield pensioner Tony Foulds – the man who inspired commemorative events to remember those who died in a wartime plane crash – is to receive a star on the city’s Walk of Fame.

All 10 crew on board the badly damaged B-17 Flying Fortress, known as Mi Amigo, were killed when it plummeted from the skies and crashed into Endcliffe Park in 1944.

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Tony, now aged 83, was one of a group of school children to witness the tragedy and has been diligently tending to a park memorial for several decades.

Tony Foulds, 82, watches from Endcliffe Park in Sheffield, as warplanes from Britain and the United States stage a flypast tribute to ten US airmen 75 years after he witnessed the crash that killed them. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday February 22, 2019. Mr Foulds, has spent much of his life treating a memorial to the airmen whose plane crashed in front of him as he played in Endcliffe Park in Sheffield on February 22 1944. See PA story MEMORIAL Flypast. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

His story was first revealed by The Star and hit the headlines across the world earlier this year, which inspired a military flypast over Sheffield to mark 75 years since the tragedy in February.

The Lowedges grandfather-of-four will now become the 21st Sheffielder to be recognised with a star on the Sheffield Legends Walk of Fame outside the Town Hall.

Civic dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, councillor Tony Downing, will join Tony for the official unveiling on Monday, July 8.

Tony said: "It's fair to say 2019 has been an amazing year.

The wreckage of the Mi Amigo.

“There will be a tear in my eye on Monday and I'm thrilled of course, but my first thought will always be to the memorial at Endcliffe Park.

“This is a proud moment but I'm just glad that those boys have been given the recognition they so deserved."

He joins other famed residents who have helped to put the city on the map including actor Sean Bean, members of the rock band Def Leppard and athlete Sebastian Coe.

The Mi Amigo crew.

The Star first reported on Tony’s plight last year and the story gained traction with news outlets across the world after presenter Dan Walker broadcast the story on BBC Breakfast.

More than 10,000 people gathered in Endcliffe Park to see nine planes fly overhead in February, including an awe-inspring missing man manoeuvre, in tribute to the Mi Amigo victims.

Dan, who is also due to attend Monday’s unveiling, said: “Tony is a very special man. Meeting him and organising the flypast to remember those 10 US airmen has been the most amazing thing to be involved in.

“Tony has had a big influence on me and so many others in Sheffield and in countries all over the world. It is lovely to see his dedication marked with a special star in the city he loves.”

The Walk of Fame.

Councillor Downing said: "Many citizens from Sheffield make a significant impact at national and international level, but none more so than Tony, who with the help of Dan Walker, put Sheffield well and truly on the world map with a magnificent Flypast organised by the US Airforce and RAF

"It was an amazing day that will live long in Sheffielders' collective memory and I'm happy to be able to honour him in this way."

The Mi Amigo had completed a daring day time raid on the Aalborg airfield in occupied Denmark but was hit in the attack and limped back over the North Sea.

It is believed the crew was attempting to make an emergency landing on the field – but when they spotted Tony and his friends on the grass they diverted and crashed into a nearby wooded area to avoid landing on them.

The pilot, lieutenant John Kriegshauser was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross for minimising loss of life.

Their ultimate sacrifice left Tony with feelings of deep-seated guilt and he has visited the scene and tended to the memorial regularly ever since.