John Hulley statue unveiled by the Princess Royal
The previous section listed the work of the Liverpool Heartbeat charity headed by Robin Baynes MBE in publicising the efforts of John Hulley in encouraging physical education and activities throughout the nation. A further demonstration of Liverpool Heartbeat’s promotion of the John Hulley story was the intention to have a
statue of John Hulley erected in a suitable location in Liverpool. After a few false starts, Robin Baynes was
successful in agreeing with the Canal and River Trust to have the statue placed on a plinth on Liverpool waterfront.
Planning permission was granted and a local sculptor Tom Murphy was commissioned to produce an
appropriate figure. The statue was sponsored by Liverpool Heartbeat and was unveiled by the Princess Royal on
14 June 2019, exactly 10 years after the re-dedication of his grave. Princess Anne spoke to several people
associated with the John Hulley story, including myself.
Left to right – Joan and Ray Hulley, Tom Murphy, Princess Anne, Robin Baynes
Showing Princess Anne John Hulley’s grave before and after its restoration
She gave a short speech in which she said that thanks to John Hulley, the first Olympic Committee was set up in
Liverpool, from which the existing one followed on. He also set the example for Pierre de Coubertin, who managed
to create a more international version. But it is from here and his work that has set an example that has grown into
an extraordinary world-wide movement. It is only appropriate that John Hulley should be recognised not just here in
Liverpool, but also around the world.
The statue was unveiled by a team of young dancers from the Ultimate Force Dance Group
John Hulley – The Liverpool Gymnasiarch
The Princess Royal unveiled a plaque on the plinth reading as follows:
Three other plaques are as follows:
This event marks the culmination of my research efforts regarding John Hulley the Liverpool Gymnasiarch, and will
remain long in my memory, and that of my family. To have Royal recognition of one’s family history research is a
rare occurrence and something that I will treasure forever.
The following videos on YouTube cover the unveiling ceremony:
The Road to John Hulley 2019 (by kind permission of Philip S. Davies)
John Hulley statue unveiled by Princess Anne in Liverpool (by kind permission of James O’hanlon)