Tribute to Sheffield graffiti king Fisto spotted in city 25 years on from vandal spree

A tribute to infamous Sheffield graffiti king Fisto has been spotted in the city – 25 years on from a vandalism spree which made global headlines.

Thursday, 28th February 2019, 08:16 am
Updated Thursday, 28th February 2019, 08:17 am

Black stick on letters spelling out the word ‘Fisto’ have been spotted attached to a metal fence at Meadowhall Interchange station.

Fisto was the monicker of graffiti artist Simon Sunderland who attained notoriety in 1996 when he was given a five year jail sentence for a trail of vandalism across South Yorkshire.

Black stick on letters spelling out Fisto was spotted on a fence at Meadowhall station.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It is not known who is behind the tribute which is understood to have appeared at the station in the last few days.

Sundeland, who also went under the name Fista, daubed his ‘tag’ across public buildings, walls, motorway flyovers and lampposts across Sheffield and beyond.

In 1996, he was given a five year prison sentence after several months spent on remand.

The Fista or Fisto tag was spotted across South Yorkshire and beyond.

The length of the sentence sparked outrage, with supporters including MPs and musicians leading calls for him to be freed.

He was eventually released more than a year later when his sentence was cut on appeal.

Sunderland later vowed to put his criminal past behind him to concentrate on legitimate fine art, enrolling on a course at Barnsley College and even enjoying the distinction of a solo exhibition at the Archipelago gallery on Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. 

Graffiti artist Simon Sunderland in 1996..

But he was later back before the courts, admitting causing £90,000 of damage to the rail network with his new moniker Bloodaxe from January 2008 to October 2009 and was sentenced to 18 months in 2014.

At his original sentencing in 1996, Judge Robert Moore, said the Fista tag was "one of the most prevalent and frequent spoilers of buildings in the area." 

The name was spotted all over South Yorkshire