Crowd Funder launched for huge Kevin Phillips mural on historic Sunderland pub
Super Kev is the latest Black Cat hero to be immortalised by mural artist Frank Styles on a Sunderland pub.
A Crowd Funding page has been launched to raise the £3,500 needed to pay for the artwork, which will span the side of The Times Inn pub in Southwick.
Just 48 hours after the launch of the fund, £1,300 has already been raised by people keen to see one of SAFC’s top goal scorers honoured.
It follows the striking Jimmy Montgomery mural, also crafted by Frank, which was unveiled in the summer and has been drawing scores of people down to the historic pub in the shadow of the Queen Alexandra Bridge.
Landlord Steve Lawson, who took over the pub in June, is behind both murals and he says he’s delighted with the response to the first artwork, which honours the 1973 FA Cup goalkeeper.
"You could sit here all day and see people pull up to take photos of the Monty mural, all the businesses nearby have said there’s never been so many people down here,” he said. “One Saturday Monty and his family came down. That was a really special moment, especially for the people who’d come along to take photos that day, with no idea the man himself would be there.
"I wish I had a pound for everyone who took a photo as it would pay for the next mural.”
Though a more recent player than the legendary 1973 team, Kevin Phillips has equal hero status.
While at Sunderland he was the Premier League's top scorer in the 1999-2000 season with 30 goals. That won him the European Golden Shoe and he's still the only Englishman to have won that award. During his time at SAFC, Kevin, who was also capped eight times by England, scored 113 goals for Sunderland making him the club's leading post-war goalscorer.
Speaking about why he was chosen for the latest mural, which will show the player holding the ‘99 Championship medal, Steve said: “I wanted it to be another living player as I think it’s amazing for them to be able to see the murals. We had a vote with regulars in the pub and Kevin came first, followed by Marco Gabbiadini and then Kevin Ball.
"If just 250 Sunderland fans, of the thousands there are in the city, put £10 in we’d hit target.”
It’s hoped Kevin himself may visit once the mural is complete.
Frank’s distinctive murals can be seen across the city, from the Raich Carter mural on the Blue House pub in Hendon, seen by millions in Sunderland ‘Til I Die on Netflix, to shipyard workers honoured on the Shipwrights pub in Ferryboat Lane and miners honoured on Donkin’s in Silksworth.
You can donate to the crowd funder for the Kevin Phillips mural by visiting the Just Giving page.
Ten percent of the funds raised will be donated to the city’s Veterans in Crisis CIC, which helps veterans on the path to employment, as well as offering support with addiction problems.