Stoke-on-Trent heroes revealed for the People’s Walk Of Fame

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Notable people associated with the city from the world of sport, music, literature and ceramics are set to be honoured with a new piece of public art in Tontine Square, Hanley.

Ten pairs of bronze shoes are due to be installed early next year to represent those who have significantly contributed to the Potteries.

Stoke-on-Trent city council has commissioned local artist Anna Francis, from Airspace Gallery, to lead the project as part of the city’s bid to become the City of Culture 2021.

39 year-old Anna, who is also a professor at Staffordshire University, said: “The People’s Walk of Fame is an opportunity to celebrate one of the best things about the city of Stoke-on-Trent – its people!

“We have spent a month visiting the six towns, hearing all about the heroes that have made our city what it is.”

The heroes who are still alive have been asked to donate a pair of their shoes so a replica can be created, whereas those who are no longer with us will have shoes based on historical documents.

Anna Francis created the idea on the basis that it was “aspirational and invites participation”, as people will be able to try on their idols shoes and feel as though they are walking in their footsteps.

Over the past week, Airspace Gallery has been speaking to members of the public and giving them a chance to contribute towards who they think should be involved in the People’s Walk.

The final names were released on Wednesday October 18, and the top five men and women have now been confirmed as:

  • Reginald Mitchell – Designer of the Spitfire
  • Sir Stanley Matthews- Stoke City and England footballer
  • Josiah Wedgwood- Famous Potter and Entrepreneur
  • Robbie Williams- International Pop Star
  • Ian Marsden- 2016 Paralympics Bronze Medal Winner
  • Clarice Cliff- Ceramics Artist
  • Emma Bridgewater- Ceramics Manufacturer
  • Dorothy Griffiths- Breast Cancer Drug Campaigner
  • Gertie Gitana- Entertainer
  • Angela Smith- Retired Professional GB Squash Player

The artwork comes at a convenient time for the City of Culture as it shows people’s passion for the people of Stoke-on-Trent.

It is set to be unveiled early next year.

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