Veteran misses out on Oor Wullie statue

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£318,000 was raised for charity at the Edinburgh auction of the statues, however a crowdfunding drive to secure a statue for Tom Gilzean failed

20th September 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The family of a 99-year-old war veteran who has raised more than £1m for charity has been outbid for his Oor Wullie statue.

Tom Gilzean's sculpture from the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail went for £13,000 at auction on Thursday night (19 September) to a mystery buyer.

It follows a crowd fundraiser which raised £7,000 to buy the statue so it could be kept on display in Edinburgh.

It was part of the Scotland-wide Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail over the summer - and one of 60 in the capital.

The Edinburgh auction raised £318,000 for the Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity.

The artist who made the statues has now pledged to make and gift a small Oor Wullie sculpture to Gilzean in recognition of the prolific fundraisers efforts.

The veteran’s son Douglas Gilzean said:  "It would have been a wonderful gesture if we were able to purchase my Dad's Oor Wullie sculpture as a tribute to him but we always knew that this may not be possible.

"What is most important to dad is that his sculpture has raised such a huge amount for Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity to support children and young people in the Sick Kids.

"It is his life's passion to fundraise for the hospital so he is absolutely over the moon with the amount that his sculpture achieved at auction and through our crowdfunding efforts, and that this will now be donated to this wonderful cause.

"We would like to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to each and every person who contributed to our crowdfunding page, including Central Taxis for kindly sponsoring the sculpture and for their generous donation.

"The support we received was just incredible and we know it means everything to Dad. We cannot thank people enough."

Roslyn Neely, chief executive of Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity, said: "Tom is an incredible man and has been such a fantastic supporter of ours for many years.

"As he holds such a special place in all of our hearts, our wonderful friends at Wild In Art are going to commission a mini Tom Oor Wullie sculpture to gift to him and his family.

"Wherever Tom decides to put this little sculpture, we know it will be loved and admired for many, many years to come."