Billy Fury has come home… a £40,000, seven foot bronze statue of the late, great superstar singer was unveiled on Easter Sunday of this year at the Museum of Liverpool life, Albert Dock – just a few hours before The Official Liverpool Billy Fury Concert at the Philharmonic Hall.
Billy, who was number 18 on a recent Greatest Merseysiders poll, never achieved his ambition of going to sea but worked as a deck hand on a Mersey tug boat before he found fame and fortune.
And his brother, Albie Wycherley, said: “The statue is going to be where we wanted it to be – the Albert Dock, because of Billy’s connection with the waterfront.
“It’s an unbelievable statue. It’s awesome. It’s HIM.”
The unassuming boy from the Dingle – born Ronald Wycherley – enjoyed 11 top 10 hits, including Halfway To Paradise, Last Night Was Made For Love, Colette, Jealousy and I’d Never Find Another You.
His debut album, The Sound Of Fury, a collection of 10 self-penned songs, is considered one of the best rock ‘n’ roll albums of all time – the musical of the same name, by Liverpool writers Joe Boyle and Gary Waterman, received its Bill Kenwright-directed world premiere at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1995.
The Beatles once auditioned to be Billy’s backing band but, although there was much mutual respect and admiration, they never worked together.
Billy’s statue, which was crafted by renowned Liverpool sculptor Tom Murphy, was shown to the public for the first time in April, after a huge fund-raising campaign, launched by Albie, Billy’s mother Jean and The Sound Of Fury fan club six years ago.
Fans across the country staged money-making events, while Jean even managed to raise cash after suffering a fall in which she broke her wrist: “Fans signed my cast for £5 a time – and then it was raffled off for £50! They said ‘Why don’t you break your leg next time?’!”
Jean, also held fund-raising coffee mornings adds: “I feel so proud. It’s taken a long time and a lot of people have done a lot of hard work, but it’s wonderful that Liverpool now has a statue of Billy.”