Legendary King’s Lynn footballer and staff at the town’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital honoured with steel figures at cycle track
A legendary Linnets footballer and NHS workers at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have been immortalized in steel as figures on a section of the National Cycle Network at the city’s Lynnsport complex.
The Portrait Benches project was launched in recognition of the Platinum Jubilee year of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with funds from the Department for Transport.
As part of a nationwide campaign by the Sustrans hiking and cycling charity, residents were invited to give their opinions. They were asked who they think has had a positive impact on their community over the past seven decades to celebrate Britain’s longest reigning monarch.
One of the personalities nominated and selected was the late legendary footballer Malcolm Lindsay, who last died in March. He was a prolific goalscorer for Lynn FC in the 1960s and still holds the club record of 321 goals in 749 games. In 1970 he helped Cambridge United reach the Football League. Later, returning to his Lynn roots, he ran several pubs, including The Bentinck, with his wife Pat.
He was chosen along with the collective staff of QEH in recognition of their role during the Covid-19 pandemic. The hospital is considered the heart of the community and employs 4,587 people, including nurses, doctors, porters, caterers, administrative staff and other medical professionals. Depicted as a nurse, the character represents the city’s NHS heroes and shows solidarity with 1.3 million NHS workers across the country.
A total of 30 new life-size steel figures will be installed across England. They will complement the existing 250 figures installed as part of the Portrait Bench campaign more than 12 years ago. Designed and manufactured by acclaimed artists Katy and Nick Hallett, they will be installed on 14 of the most popular cycle routes on the National Cycle Network.
On Thursday, delegates gathered to unveil the Lynn figurines at their new home on Route One of the National Cycle Network at the Lynnsport Leisure Center on Greenpark Avenue. Attendees included four generations of Malcolm Lindsay’s family, Lynn Football Club chairman Stephen Cleve, aldermen and representatives from the Hospital, Alive West Norfolk and West Norfolk Council. They were joined by students from Howard Junior School, including Malcolm’s great-grandson.
At the unveiling, Malcolm Lindsay’s grandson David Major said: “As a family we have been so touched by the love and support of the local community since the passing of Malcolm last year. We really appreciate Sustrans supporting local heroes through this fantastic project and we hope it will inspire more people to take action. It’s wonderful that Grandpa can watch his great-grandson’s soccer practice and hundreds of other kids who play here for years to come.”
Paul Brooks, Probate Director of QEH added: “We are delighted that the community and Sustrans have chosen to honor the medical staff on the front lines of Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Every day, healthcare workers go to work with the sole purpose of providing the best possible care to members of our community. It means a lot to everyone here at Team QEH that the local community wants to recognize and thank us in this way.”
Clare Maltby, Director of Sustrans England, said: “We are delighted to see Malcolm Lindsay and the staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital honored in this way. Just like the National Cycle network, they are the heart of the community. At Sustrans, we are committed to ensuring that the National Cycle Network continues to bring walking, cycling, cycling and running to as many people as possible and as ‘paths for all’ celebrates our local communities, cultures and heritage.”
Sustrans is custodian of the National Cycle Network, which includes 12,000 miles of signposted cycle paths, including over 5,000 miles of traffic-free paths. Sustrans continues to improve the local network as part of the UK-wide Paths for Everyone programme.
Accessibility has been improved at Lynn with the removal of five A-Frame barriers, including Wootton Park. They are also working with Norfolk County Council to improve Route One of the National Cycle Network along the North Norfolk coast. That means better-connected communities with safer, more accessible ways to walk, bike, and cycle.
Sustrans volunteers remain active in King’s Lynn and will survey the network to identify other obstacles in and around the town.
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