Mural honouring Sunderland’s top goal scorer Bobby Gurney unveiled

A stunning mural honouring Sunderland’s top goal scorer has been unveiled.

The scaffolding is now down from around the gable end of the George Fleece pub in Silksworth to reveal the mural paying homage to Bobby Gurney.

Born in Silksworth in 1907, Gurney played for Sunderland AFC between 1925 and 1950, scoring 228 goals during his time there and making him the club’s all-time top goalscorer.

Residents in the town have seen the mural come to life during lockdown as scaffolding was put around the pub while artist Frank Styles completed the work.

The project was spearheaded by life-long Sunderland AFC fan Gav Willis, 42, of Silksworth, who felt there needed to be a tribute to the footballer.

He said: “I am pretty relieved and very, very proud. It is amazing what you can achieve in a short period of time.

The mural has been painted on the gabel end of the George Fleece pub

“The reaction has all been positive on social media and from people who have seen it. Everyone has been really, really happy.

“There have been a lot of people standing around and taking pictures.”

Gav started a fundraising campaign to raise £6,000 for the work to be carried out.

The Bobby Gurney Artwork Raffle has been organised that gives people the chance to win a piece of signed artwork by artist Frank Styles.

Gav said: “We are doing a big raffle for a one off signed piece. We are close to reaching our target.

“I think about two weeks into the lockdown we had raised enough to pay the deposit for the work to be carried out.

“He is having a well deserved rest now and just has a few little touch ups to complete.”

Chronicle Live – Sunderland